Jonathan Thumas

Jonathan Thumas

Ph.D. Candidate in Japanese Religion
Jonathan Thumas, wearing a light-colored collared shirt, grins at the camera in front of a background of dark green foliage

Jonathan Thumas (Jon) entered the PhD program in East Asian Languages and Civilizations in 2017. He specializes in East Asian Buddhism, with a secondary PhD field in Archaeology through the Department of Anthropology. Before coming to Harvard, he received his MA in Religion from Columbia University and BA in Religion and Anthropology from Roanoke College. His research interests are in the archaeology and social history of Japanese Buddhism. He is currently writing his dissertation on the development of Buddhist hermitage communities called bessho 別所, literally “separate places,” in medieval Japan, using a combination of texts and archaeological remains. During the 2021-22 academic year, he will be pursuing this research at the University of Tokyo’s Historiographical Institute, through the support of a BDK Fellowship for Foreign Scholars. Outside of his research, writing, and teaching, he is an avid patron of the New England hardcore punk music scene and a newfound fan of Japanese role-playing video games.

Contact Information