Martin Verhoeven

Martin Verhoeven
Dean of Academics, Board of Trustees, Professor

Martin Verhoeven is currently Professor of Buddhist Classics at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, as well as Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley.  He also teaches a weekly translation and meditation series at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.

Dr. Verhoeven’s background includes both academic study of history and various philosophical traditions and Buddhist practice. He was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford under a Ford Fellowship in the 1970s. In 1976, he met and trained under the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, becoming a monk (with the name Heng Chau) in 1977, and took full ordination in 1979.

His study with Master Hua took him to monasteries around the world. It also led him to undertake a two-year, 600-mile bowing pilgrimage up the California coast with Reverend Heng Sure from 1977 to 1979.

After 18 years as a monk, Dr. Verhoeven returned to layperson’s life, but continued to study and teach Buddhism and related topics in the U.S. as well as in Asia, Europe, and Canada.  He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the American encounter with Asian religions. His particular areas of interest are the historical teachings of Buddhism, the Euro-American encounter with Asian religions, and the process of religious acculturation. 


B.A., 1969, M.A., 1971, Ph.D., 1997, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ph.D., Dharma Realm Buddhist University, 1980

Ford Fellowship Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, 1972–74


Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley, 1976- 1977
Professor, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, 1997–Present
Adjunct Professor, Pacific School of Religion, Graduate Theological Union, 1997–2016
Dean of Academics, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, 2010–Present
Board of Trustees Member Ex-Officio, Dharma Realm Buddhist University
Board of Directors, Dharma Realm Buddhist Association


Verhoeven, Martin J., "Americanising the Buddha," in The Faces of Buddhism in America, ed. Charles Prebish and Kenneth Tanaka. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

Verhoeven, Dr.  Martin J.,  “Buddhism and Science: Probing the Boundaries of Faith and Reason,” Religion East and West, Issue 1, June 2001, pp. 77-97.

Verhoeven, Martin J., "Glistening Frost and Cooking Sand: Unalterable Aspects of Purity in Chan Buddhist Meditation," in Barnhart, Bruno and Joseph Wong, ed. Purity of Heart and Contemplation: A Monastic Dialogue Between Christian and Asian Traditions. New York: Continuum, 2001.

Martin Verhoeven and Michael Nylan, “Does Comparative Philosophy have a Fusion Future?” Journal of World Philosophies, Volume 1 (Fall 2016), No. 7, pp. 1–7

Highway Dharma Letters, by Heng Sure and Heng Chau, Buddhist Text Translation Society (2016).

Verhoeven, Martin J., The Gospel of Buddha by Paul Carus; with a New Introduction. Chicago: Open Court, (2002).

The Sixth Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra, Edited by Martin Verhoeven, PhD, and Rev. Heng Sure, PhD, Buddhist Text Trasnslation Society (2014).

Verhoeven, Martin J., “Science Through Buddhist Eyes,” The New Atlantis, Number 39, Summer 2013.


1999       Seventh Annual Ahimsa Conference, University of California International House, Living In One World: Economics, Spirituality, and The Human Good. Saturday, 16 October Berkeley, California. Paper: "Economics Within a Buddhist Philosophy"

1999       Parliament of the World's Religions, Capetown, South Africa, 29 Nov-10 Dec. Paper: "Giving by Reducing One's Share: Toward Closing the Gap between the Have and Have-Nots"

2000       Stanford University; Spring Quarter, mini-course "Buddhist Philosophy & Practice," in conjunction with the Buddhist Community at Stanford and Dept. of Religious Studies.

2001      Mahidol University & the Graduate Theological Union Conference "Religion and Its New Challenges" April 6-7; paper: "A Study in American Christian-Buddhist Syncretism: The Case of Marie Canavarro."

2001       PANA Institute of Pacific School of Religion; paper: "Burning Out in the Melting Pot: Asian/American Youth Facing the Golden Dilemma."

2001       Hegeler Institute, LaSalle, Illinois & Council for the Parliament of World's Religions, Chicago; seminar "Paul Carus and D. T. Suzuki: Pioneers of American Buddhism." 

2013       Lecture: “Buddhism Without Borders: The Hermeneutics of Reanimating the Teachings.” Taiwan, Dharma Drum University, November 2013.