About Matthew Hayes

Matthew Hayes

Editor for Buddhist Studies

Matthew Hayes

Editor for Buddhist Studies

Matthew joined the team at The Digital Orientalist in 2020 as Buddhist Studies editor. His experience with digital research tools has emerged through his work in library and archival settings, direct workshop training, and through his own research. He holds degrees in Religious Studies, Asian Studies, and Buddhist Studies, and currently teaches at UCLA and Occidental College. His research focuses on ritual practice in early modern Japan and its intersection with knowledge production, learning, patronage, and social formations. His dissertation examined the pedagogical and performative transmission of religious knowledge through a Shingon ceremonial lecture (kōshiki) delivered at the Kyoto temple Chishakuin. This project took shape through long-term research conducted in Tokyo, where he was a 2016–2018 Visiting Researcher at Taisho University and 2016–2017 Research Fellow at Waseda University. His current research focuses on the hagiographic provenance of Japanese hymns (wasan), which is part of a broader project that explores the heuristic benefits of ritual in Buddhist East Asia generally. He has published in the Journal of Religion in Japan, the Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyūshū, and for Bloomsbury Publishing. He also serves as an interviewer for The Religious Studies Project Podcast and as copyeditor for the Journal of Global Buddhism.