Massimo Rondolino, Carroll University faculty

Dr. Massimo Rondolino

Associate Professor of Philosophy Get Contact Info


Philosophy, Politics and Economics


Dr. Rondolino was born in Italy where he grew up between his family’s vineyard and his grandparent’s alpine village. After obtaining his degree in philosophy, he left for Nepal and India where, over the period of two years, he worked on different educational projects. After a brief period living in Belgium, he moved to the U.K. where he worked as a translator in London and then as a customer service manager for CISCO in Belfast. Dr. Rondolindo eventually returned to university, completing a master in Buddhist Studies and a doctorate in Comparative Religions at the University of Bristol. He has been living in the U.S.A. since 2012, and joined Carroll University in 2013.


  • University of Bristol, Ph.D. in Religious Studies, March 2014 
    • Major Fields: comparative religions, comparative hagiology
    • Minor Fields: medieval Christianity, history of medieval mendicant orders, medieval Christian philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan history, Buddhist philosophy    
  • University of Bristol, M.A. in Buddhist Studies, September 2009
    • Awarded with Distinction
  • Università degli Studi di Pavia, Laurea (M.A.) in Philosophy, April 2003
    • Awarded Cum Laude

Areas of Specialization

Comparative Philosophy, Comparative Religions, Medieval European Religious and Philosophical Traditions, Tibetan Religions and Mahāyāna Buddhist Philosophy, Comparative Mythology

Scholarly and Professional Achievements


Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Hagiographical Strategies. A Comparative Study of the Standard Lives of St. Francis and Milarepa, Routledge (, 2017

Recipient of the 2018 Frederick J. Streng Book Award for Excellence in Buddhist-Christian Studies (


“The Scholar and the Repa: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on a Contemporary Chan Response to The Life of Milarepa” in Buddhist Literature as Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy as Literature edited by Rafal Stepien, SUNY, 2020

“Introduction: Comparative Hagiology, Issues in Theory and Method” in Religions. Special Issue: “Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method” (, 2020

“Some Foundational Considerations on Taxonomy: A Case for Hagiography.” in Religions. Special Issue: “Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method” (, 2020

(with Samantha Seybold) “Conforming Beasts and Compliant Princesses: A Radical Appraisal of Disney's 1990s Americana Rhetoric” in Visual Inquiry: Learning & Teaching Art. Special Issue, Vol. 7, N. 2: 95-110 (, 2018

“Spies like U.S.: American Rhetoric and the Jennings Family” in The Americans and Philosophy edited by Kevin Guilfoy, Open Court Publishing, 2017

“Prolegomena to a Comparative Reading of The Major Life of St. Francis and The Life of Milarepa” in Buddhist Christian Studies, Vol. 15: 163-180 (, 2015

Encyclopedia Entries

(co-editor, with Aaron Hollander) “Holy Persons” in Bloomsbury Medieval Studies, Bloomsbury Publishing (, 2021

(with Aaron Hollander) “Thematic Overview: Holy Persons” in Bloomsbury Medieval Studies, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021

“Francis of Assisi” in The World's Greatest Religious Leaders. How Religious Figures Helped Shape World History edited by Scott Hendrix and Uchenna Okeja, ABC-Clio Publishing: 193-198 (, 2018

“Dominique de Guzman” in The World's Greatest Religious Leaders: 150-155

“Peter Valdes” in The World's Greatest Religious Leaders: 697-701

“Tsongkhapa” in The World's Greatest Religious Leaders: 676-680

Book Reviews

“A Review of Catholicism and Buddhism. The Contrasting Lives and Teachings of Jesus and Buddha by Anthony E. Clark” in Buddhist Christian Studies, Vol. 39: 353-356, 2019

“A Review of Considering Comparison. A Method of Religious Studies by Oliver Freiberger”  in Reading Religion (, 2019

“A Review of Religion, Theory, Critique: Classic and Contemporary Approaches and Methodologiesby Richard King (ed.)”  in Reading Religion (, 2018

“A Review of Theory in a Time of Excess: Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarshipby Aaron W. Hughes (ed.)” in Reading Religion (, 2017

“A Review of Yoga, Meditation, and Mysticism: Contemplative Universals and Meditative Landmarks by Kenneth Rose” in Reading Religion (, 2017

“A Review of The Yogin & the Madman: Reading the Biographical Corpus of Tibet's Great Saint Milarepa by Andrew Quintman” in Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Vol. 22 (, 2015

Service to Carroll University and Profession


  • Member, Students and Faculty Ethics Committee: 2018-present
  • Member, Exploring Program Faculty Mentor: 2017-present
  • Faculty Advisor, Academic Advising Services: 2014-present
  • Member, Strategic Planning Faculty Workgroup “Promote the Importance of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Integrate Arts and Sciences into all Programs”: June-August 2018
  • Member, Strategic Planning Steering Committee: 2017-2018
  • Member, International Education Advisory Team: 2016-2017
  • Member, General and Cross Cultural Education Committee: 2014-2017
  • Member, Cross-cultural Seminar Task Force: 2014-2015


  • Member, Committee of the Frederick J. Streng Book Award for Excellence in Buddhist-Christian Studies: 2018-present
  • Book Review Editor, Buddhist Christian Studies Hawaii University Press: 2018-present
  • Chief Series Editor, “Spirituality and Monasticism, East and West” Arc Humanities Press: 2018-present
  • Member, Steering Committee of the AAR “Comparative Studies in Religion Section”: 2018-present
  • Representative for the AAR, Hagiography Society: 2017-present
  • Blind Reviewer, Religions: 2017-present
  • Blind Reviewer, Cengage: 2015-present
  • Judge, National History Day, Wisconsin Eastern and Southern Division: 2013-2016
  • Managing Committee Member, European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies: 2011-2014

What is your teaching style?

Baywatch: I let students swim, ready to dive at the rescue (although without the inappropriately revealing red swimsuit).

Why do you do what you do?

Because I just have too much fun doing it.

How do you make learning engaging?

Passion, passion, and a little bit more passion.

What should students know about you?

Some say that I am a good listener, and some say that I am a challenging and demanding teacher. Be warned – but know that you will not be left to drown (remember… Baywatch!).

pano of main campus