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Wakoh Shannon Hickey

Headshot: Wakoh Shannon Hickey

Assistant Professor - Religious Studies


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Religion and Modernity, Duke University, 2008.
  • Master of Divinity, Pacific School of Religion, May 2003.
  • Master of Arts, Pacific School of Religion, May 2001.
  • Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction, University of California at Berkeley, Political Science, 1986. U.C. Regents Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa.

Ordained as a priest of the Soto school of Japanese Zen Buddhism in 2003, after 20 years of practice. Completed Shuso training in 2010.

Certified InterPlay® Leader, November 2014. InterPlay is a group creative process that builds connection, community, and ease through improvisational storytelling, music-making, movement, stillness, and play.

Research and Interests:

  • American religious history, particularly metaphysical and African American traditions, and women leaders
  • Buddhisms, particularly modernist Buddhism in East Asia and the West
  • Religion and medicine
  • Interfaith dialogue, especially Buddhist-Christian dialogue
  • Contemplative pedagogies
  • Theories of religion and ritual


  • American Academy of Religion
  • Soto Zen Buddhist Association
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Theta Alpha Kappa (honor society in religion and theology)
  • Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education,
  • InterPlay® Leaders Circle