Benjamin David Penny (born 27 October 1959) is an Australian academic
specialising in religious and spiritual movements in modern and
contemporary China. He is a Harold White Fellow at the National
Library of Australia.
His area of speciality is
Falun Gong as well as the interpretation of
Chinese religions by westerners and the history of the religions of
The Times Literary Supplement states that in
'The Religion of the Falun Gong' Penny "makes a good case for defining
Falun Gong as a modern Chinese religion. . . . [He] provides an
admirable guide to the short history of
Falun Gong and the eclectic
complexities of its doctrine, which he sets within the framework of
indigenous religious belief over the centuries."
1 Family and education
4 Selected publications
Family and education
Penny is the younger brother of professor
Simon Penny (born 1955) who
is a theorist, curator and teacher in the field of Interactive Media
Benjamin Penny was born in
Melbourne and attended Newington
College (1972–1977). He was awarded a
Bachelor of Arts from the
University of Sydney, a
Master of Philosophy from University of
Cambridge and a PhD from the Australian National University.
Benjamin has a son, Tom.
After university study, Penny was a post-doctoral fellow at the ANU.
From 1999 until 2005, he was the first Executive Officer of the
Herbert and Valmae Freilich Foundation. During the years 2003 and 2004
he was a research fellow at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research.
Penny was appointed to the Division of Pacific and Asian History in
October 2005. Since January 2010 he has been Deputy Director, and a
Research Fellow, at the School of Culture, History & Language ANU
College of Asia and the Pacific.
Harold White Fellow
The Religion of
Falun Gong won Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic
'On the Acquisition of Moral Character', in
Geremie R. Barmé and
Jeremy Goldkorn (eds.), China Story Yearbook 2014: Shared Destiny,
Canberra: Australian Centre on China in the World 2014.
‘An Exemplary Society’, in
Geremie R. Barmé and Jeremy Goldkorn
(eds.), China Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China,Canberra:
Australian Centre on China in the World, 2013.
‘Searching for a Sage Today’, in
Geremie R. Barmé with Jeremy
Goldkorn, Carolyn Cartier and Gloria Davies (eds.), China Story
Yearbook 2012: Red Rising Red Eclipse, Canberra: Australian Centre on
China in the World, 2012.
The Religion of the Falun Gong, Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
'Karmic Retribution, Animal Spirits,
Falun Gong and the State', in
Mayfair Yang, Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and
State Formation, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.
‘Master Li Encounters Jesus: Christianity and the Configurations of
Falun Gong’, W. Smith, M. Tomlinson, and L. Manderson (eds.),
Beliefs beyond Borders: Faith, Spiritual Practice and Communities in
Asia/Pacific, New York: Springer, 2012.
‘More than One Adam?: Revelation and Philology in Nineteenth-Century
China’, Humanities Research, XIV, 2007.
'An Immigrant Chinese Sea God in Australia: The Chinese Background to
Sydney’s Retreat Street Temple’, Chinese Southern Diaspora
Studies, 2, 2008.
'Daoism in history: essays in honour of Liu Tsʼun-Yan' London:
'Religion and biography in China and Tibet' Richmond, Surrey: Curzon,
^ a b Harold White Fellow. Retrieved 14 January 2015
^ Dr Benjamin Penny, Deputy Director, Australian Centre on China in
the World. Retrieved 14 January 2015
^ The Religion of
Falun Gong – Editorial Reviews. Retrieved 30
Newington College Register of Past Students 1863–1998 (Syd, 1999)
^ ANU Researcher. Retrieved 14 January 2015
^ Choice Magazine: CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Awards University
of Chicago Press
^ Penny, Benjamin (2012), The religion of Falun Gong, University of
Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-65501-7
^ University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 14 January 2015
^ The Religion of the
Falun Gong University of Toronto Library
^ Dr Benjamin Penny. Retrieved 14 January 2015
^ Penny, Benjamin; Liu, Cunren (2005), Daoism in history : essays
in honour of Liu Tsʼun-yan, Routledge,
^ Penny, Benjamin (2002), Religion and biography in China and Tibet,
Curzon, ISBN 978-0