Richard was raised in Los Angeles, California, and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Korea Pusan Mission from 1988 to 1990. He double majored in Asian Studies and Korean at BYU, graduating in 1993, and later earned a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures (with emphasis on Korean and Chinese Buddhism and early Korean History) at UCLA in 2001. He was a Fulbright Senior Researcher at Dongguk University in Korea from 2007 to 2008, He taught in the History Department at BYU-Hawaii from 2008 to 2018. His wife of 17 years, Younghee Yeon McBride, passed away from pancreatic cancer in February 2018. They are the parents of two sons, David and Sean. Prof. McBride began teaching at BYU in the fall 2018 semester.
Research InterestsProf. McBride has broad research interests. He is interested in and has published broadly on Korean Buddhist literature, particularly Buddhist spells and incantations (dharani and mantra). He is also interested Buddhist narrative literature, such as is found in the Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms, ca. 1285); traditional historiography, such as the Samguk sagi (compiled in 1146); as well as strange tales and ghost stories, which have long been popular genres for East Asians. Prof. McBride is also a scholar of the history and society of the early Korean state of Silla (ca. 300-935), particularly the hwarang (flower boys) organization.
Teaching InterestsKOREA 340: Korean Literature to 1900
KOREA 345: Korean Culture
KOREA 441: Classical Korean
KOREA 443: Korean Literature since 1900
HIST 337: Pre-modern Korean History
HIST 349: History of Asian Religions and Thought
- Ph.D., East Asian Languages and Cultures , Buddhist Studies, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) (2001)
- Bachelor of Arts, Asian Studies with Korea emphasis , Brigham Young University (1993)
- Asian and Near Eastern Languages Department: Department Chair (2021 - Present)
- Editorial Review Board Member, Journal of Chan Buddhism (2019 - Present)
- Editor, Associate Editor, International Journal of Buddhist Thought and Culture (Dongguk University, Academy of Buddhist Studies) (2016 - Present)
- Editorial Review Board Member, Studies on East Asian Religions (Series), Brill (2014 - Present)
- Editorial Review Board Member, Seoul Journal of Korean Studies (2014 - Present)
- Other, American Academy of Religion (2013 - 2018)