Jason Protass is a scholar of Chinese Buddhism. His research themes include Buddhist poetry, and the history of Chan during the Northern Song (960–1127). His first book, The Poetry Demon: Song-dynasty Monks on Verse and the Way (Hawai'i, 2021), examines Buddhist monks' understanding of Chinese poetry and its relationships to the Buddhist path in the eleventh to fourteenth centuries CE.
He has published essays on humorous literary critiques of Buddhist poetry and a geographic history of Chan lineages during the Northern Song. This religious geography provides the intellectual architecture for a larger project in development on Chan rituals across social topography. Jason has also written about riverine Buddhism, part of the Buddhist Geoaesthetics volume of essays about Buddhists and the environment, of which he is a co-editor. In addition, he has also published on the relationship between manuscript and xylographic texts, and presented research on the uses of brush-talk by Chinese and Japanese monks.
Jason has studied at Academia Sinica (Taipei), Hanazono University (Kyoto), Ryūkoku University (Kyoto), and Peking University (Beijing) under the auspices of fellowships from Fulbright Taiwan, American Council of Learned Societies, Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (Japan), and the Ministry of Education P. R. China.