David Wellington Chappell (1940–2004) was a professor of Buddhist studies whose specialties were Chinese Buddhist traditions (esp. Tiantai) and interreligious dialogue. After receiving a B.A. from Mount Allison University and a B.D. from McGill University, he completed a Ph.D. in the history of religions at Yale University. His subsequent teaching career included three decades as a professor of religion at the University of Hawaii, where he founded the journal Buddhist-Christian Studies in 1981, edited it through 1985, then helped found the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies in 1987. His publications include Buddhist and Taoist Practice in Medieval Chinese Society, T'ien-t'ai Buddhism: An Outline of the Fourfold Teachings, Buddhist Peace Work: Creating Cultures of Peace, and Unity in Diversity: Hawaii's Buddhist Communities.
After retiring from the University of Hawaii, he taught comparative studies at Soka University of America and was actively engaged in Buddhist-Muslim dialogue in Asia, Europe, and North America.