Justin McDaniel received his PhD from Harvard University in 2003. Presently he teaches Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Besides "The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk," he has written another book on the history of Buddhist monastic education in Laos and Thailand, "Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words" (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008). It won the Benda Prize for the best first book in Southeast Asian Studies.