Stephen T. Asma

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General Information

Name: Stephen T. Asma

Pen Name: None

Born: N/A



Illinois Connection

Asma resides in Chicago and is a Philosophy Professor at Columbia University in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Asma is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago, where he holds the title of Distinguished Scholar. He is also a jazz musician and a popular guest on Chicago area NPR programs.

In 2003, he was Visiting Professor at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia. There he taught "Buddhist Philosophy" as part of their Graduate Program in Buddhist Studies. His book, entitled The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment in the Land of the Tattered Buddha explores the Theravada Buddhism of the region. He has also traveled and studied in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Mainland China - eventually living in Shanghai China in 2005.

Asma is the author of several books: Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums, Following Form and Function and Buddha for Beginners. He has written many articles on a broad range of topics that bridge the humanities and sciences, including "Against Transcendentalism" in the book Monty Python and Philosophy and "Dinosaurs on the Ark: Natural History and the New Creation Museum" in The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has also written for the Chicago Tribune, In These Times magazine, the Skeptical Inquirer, the Chronicle Review, Skeptic magazine, and Chicago Public Radio's news-magazine show Eight-Forty-Eight.

Published Works

  • Following Form and Function, Northwestern University Press, 1996
  • Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, Oxford University Press, 2001
  • The Gods Drink Whiskey, Harper Collins, 2005
  • Buddha for Beginners, Hampton Roads, 2008
  • On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears, Oxford University Press, 2009
  • Why I Am a Buddhist: No-Nonsense Buddhism with Red Meat and Whiskey, Hampton Roads Publishing, 2010

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

Following Form and Function: A Philosophical Archaeology of Life Science (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy)

ISBN: 0810113988
Release Date: 1996-12-18

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The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment in the Land of the Tattered Buddha

ISBN: 0060834501
Release Date: 2006-04-25

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On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears

ISBN: 019533616X
Release Date: 2009-10-14

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards


Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability:

Contact Information:

Department of Liberal Education

Columbia College

600 S. Michigan Avenue

Chicago IL 60605

External Links

Stephen T. Asma on WorldCat

Stephen T. Asma on Amazon


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