Mark Toole

Mark Toole
Mark Toole
Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy
  • B.A. DePauw University (Sociology)
  • M.Div. Chicago Theological Seminary (Theology)
  • Ph.D. University of Denver (Comparative Religious Studies, Asian Religious Traditions)

Dr. Toole was born in Tachikawa, Japan. He lived in the nearby town of Fusa before returning to the United States with his family. After living in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin his family settled in the Chicago area, which he considers to be his true “hometown.” Some of his recent public and/or invited talks include: “Before Fodors There Was Xuanzang: Pilgrimage to India By The Book,” “Socially Engaged Buddhists & Aboriginal Australians,” “Dharma, Karma, and Samsāra: An Examination of Ancient Indian Concepts,” “Toward a Further Understanding of Extreme Asceticism and Athleticism,” “Vedantic Philosophy and Inception,” and “What Would Buddha Do? Reflections on Blind Turtles, Hamster Wheels, and Washing Dishes.” Dr. Toole looks forward to leading an upcoming student study trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam as an extension of his scholarship. Toole also serves as faculty advisor for the HPU PRIDE student organization and the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. Dr. Toole lives in Greensboro, NC, along with his two daughters.


Areas of Specialization:

Rituals and Philosophies of Japan

China and India

Comparative Religious Studies


Buddhist and Daoist Conceptions of the Environment


Courses Taught at HPU:

Honors Senior Symposium

Buddhist Traditions: Zen & Pure Land

Religions of Japan

Contemporary Buddhist Developments

Introduction to Buddhism – Honors

Sacred Experiences and World Religions – Honors

Asian Thought and Global Concerns – Honors

Religions of East Asia

Religions of South Asia

Human Images in World Religions

Eastern Philosophies and World Religions

Sages, Monks, and Ascetics

What is Consciousness?

Comparative Religious Responses

Pilgrimage through the Buddha’s India