About me

Robban Anthony John Toleno, PhD

Born in a forest-green Dodge during a Vermont blizzard, I came into this world with a penchant for exploration. In junior high school, I determined that I would go to Japan and began studying Japanese. Since high school, I have made trips to East Asia, spending time in Japan, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China. I earned an MA in Ecological Anthropology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa for research on the cultivation of puer tea in Southwest China, and then a PhD in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia for work on food and nourishment in the history of premodern Chinese Buddhism. An advocate for healthy lifestyle choices, I write about human-environment interactions and opportunities to achieve a better balance than the current status quo.

Select publications

“The Celebration of Congee in East Asian Buddhism.” Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies, vol. 30 (July 2017): 125-168.

“Buddhist Method as Medicine: The Chan Materia Medicaand its Ming-Dynasty Elaboration.” In Buddhism and Medicine: A Sourcebook, edited by C. Pierce Salguero. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2017.

“義楚” (Yichu). In Muller, A. Charles, ed. Digital Dictionary of Buddhism. <http://buddhism-dict.net/ddb>. 2017 (October 22).

“釋氏六帖” (Shishi liutie). In Muller, A. Charles, ed. Digital Dictionary of Buddhism. <http://buddhism-dict.net/ddb>. 2017 (October 22).

“Zen honzō to En Chūdō no Zenmon honzō ho: Zen honzō no genkei to shindai ni okeru ryōsha no kondō 『禪本草』と袁中道の『禪門本草補』―『禪本草』の原形と清代における両者の混同―” (“The Chan bencaoand Yuan Zhongdao’s Chanmen bencao bu: The original text of the Chan bencao and confusions between the two during the Qing dynasty”). Tōyōgaku kenkyū東洋学研究, vol. 50 (2013): 149-161 (396-384). Tōyō University, Tokyo, Japan. (Written in Japanese)

Skilled Eating: Knowledge of Food in Yichu’s Shishi liutie, a Buddhist Encyclopedia from Tenth-Century China(Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia). Vancouver, BC: UBC Theses and Dissertations, 2015: https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0166253

A Critical Political Ecology of Akha Tea Cultivation in the Bulang Mountains of China: The Case of Baljalpuxeevq (Master’s thesis, University of Hawai’iat Manoa).  Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest Digital Dissertations, 2006.

Courses taught

2018 (Spring): “Food and Sex in Premodern Chinese Buddhism,” Department of Religion, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

2017 (Spring): “Chinese Religious Traditions,” Department of Religion, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

2016 (Spring): “Development of Traditional Chinese Thought,” Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

2014 (Fall): “Introduction to Traditional Asia,” Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

CV and Résumé

Due to scammers stealing people’s online CVs, I have removed direct links to these documents. Please contact me at rajtoleno@yahoo.com to receive my most recent CV or résumé.

Close Menu