• Your current position:
  • People >
  • All >
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Radich

Print this Page. Send this Page.

Michael Radich, Prof. Dr.

Academic Staff

Michael Radich, Prof. Dr.

Position

  • Professor of Buddhist Studies

Contact information

Karl Jaspers Centre
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 115
69115 Heidelberg
Germany
Germany

Email:
michael.radich@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de

About Michael Radich

Michael Radich received his doctorate from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University (2007), for a dissertation treating the history of Buddhist ideas about the various embodiments of buddhahood. His first monograph (Tokyo, 2011), treats the history of Buddhist stories about the sins and redemption of the famed patricide King Ajātaśatru, as that story changed across two thousand years of Buddhist history in India, China and Japan. His second monograph (Hamburg, 2015) treats the origins of Tathāgatagarbha thought in the (Mahāyāna) Mahāparinivāņa-mahāsūtra. He has held visiting positions at Kyōto University (2009) and the University of Hamburg (Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, 2013-2014; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellow, 2015). From 2005-2017, he taught at Victoria University of Wellington in his native New Zealand, where he was latterly Associate Professor and Programme Director of Religious Studies. As of January 2018, he is Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context" at the University of Heidelberg.

Radich’s present research focuses most closely upon questions of attribution, and associated problems of dating, for texts in the Chinese Buddhist canon. In this work, he uses a suite of innovative software tools called "TACL", which he has developed with programmer colleague Jamie Norrish (users' guide here). He is also in the process of building a user-contributor online database called "CBC@", which enables scholars to keep track of arguments and evidence, in both primary and secondary literatures, pertaining to the attributions of Chinese Buddhist texts. He is China editor for Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Volume II, "Lives". More broadly, his research interests include the history of Mahāyāna Buddhist texts and ideas, especially in China and India; the transcultural processes by which Buddhism developed in China, and the associated problematic of theories of the so-called "sinification" of Buddhism; the application of computational humanities methods to philological questions in large digitized classical corpora; Buddhist narrative; Mahāyāna Buddhist doctrines, especially Tathāgatagarbha/Buddha nature, Yogācāra, and Buddha-body doctrine; and the work of translators of Buddhist texts into Chinese, especially Dharmarakṣa, Dharmakṣema, Zhu Fonian, Baoyun, and Paramārtha.

Projects

Curriculum vitae

Education

PhD, East Asian Languages and Civilizations (Harvard, 2007)
MA, Chinese Studies (Auckland, 1995)
BMus, Composition (Auckland, 1989)

Academic Appointments

Professor of Buddhist Studies, Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", University of Heidelberg, 2018

Associate Professor in Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, 2005-2017

Alexander Von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, University of Hamburg Numata Center for Buddhist Studies, 2015

Numata Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies, University of Hamburg Numata Center for Buddhist Studies, 2013-2014

Visiting Associate Professor, Kyoto University Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, 2009

International Research Collaborations

"The Encounter of Chinese Buddhists with Indian Yogācāra Texts: A Comparative Study of Indian and Chinese Commentaries on Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses (Viṃśikā)." Led by Prof. Lin Chen-kuo (Chengchi U., Taipei). NT$2,689,080 (US$88,912). Funded by the Sheng Yen Education Foundation. Four scholars. 2014-2017.

"Negotiating Modernity: Buddhism between Tibet and China." Led by Profs. John Makeham (ANU), John Powers (ANU) and Jay Garfield (Smith/ Melbourne). AU$540,000 spread over three years. Funded by the Australian Research Council. Fourteen scholars. 2011-2013. (Withdrew.)

"Indian Buddhist Thought in Sixth and Seventh Century China." Led by Prof. Lin Chen-kuo, Chengchi University, Taipei. Funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. Approx. fifteen scholars. 2010-2012.

"Paramartha and His Times." Led by Prof. Funayama Tōru, Kyoto University. 29 scholars. 2006-2011.

Other Teaching

Victoria University of Wellington

  • Reli 103, Introduction to Asian Religions, 2005-2016
  • Reli 108, The World's Religions, 2008, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • Reli 110, Myth and Ritual, 2012
  • Reli 206, Introduction to Buddhism, 2005-2017
  • Reli 327, Special Topic: The Body in Religion, 2009
  • Reli 425, Advanced Studies in Asian Religions, 2005, 2006, 2009
  • Reli 427, Advanced Studies in Religious Texts, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017
  • Reli 424, Advanced Studies in Religion and Society, 2012, 2013, 2016
  • Guest lectures: Reli 108, Reli 301, Reli 322, Reli 210, Reli 305, Asia 101, Japa 221, Chin 112, Reli 110, Reli 106; Txtt 201, 2005-2014

University of Hamburg, 2013-2014

  • Buddhism in China 381-581
  • Issues in the Study of the Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra

Harvard University

  • Various Teaching Fellow (Teaching Assistant) positions, 2002-2005

Graduate Student Supervision (Completed)
PhD

Benno Blaschke. "Consciousness of God as God Is: The Phenomenology of Christian Centering Prayer." 2017. Recipient of a Dean’s award.

Atsushi Iseki. "The Presentation Form of the Inference in Dharmakīrti." Primary
supervisor. 2014.

David James (David Murphy). "Māori Orality and Extended Cognition: A Cognitive Approach to Memory and Oral Tradition in the Pacific." Second supervisor. 2014.

Donna Hendry. "Religion, Ethnicity and Identity in Burma." Ph.D. Second supervisor. 2012.

Wil Hoverd. "Gluttony & Sloth: The Moral Politics of Obesity Discourse." Primary
supervisor. 2011.

Andrew Mahoney. "The Evolutionary Origin and Biological Utility of Supernatural
Expertise." Second supervisor. 2011.

External Professional Service

Member, Board of Consulting Editors, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 2015-present
Member, Advisory Board, Oxford Translations of Chinese Thought Series, 2015-present
Member, Editorial Board, Singaporean Journal of Buddhist Studies, 2012-present
Member, Executive Committee, Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies, 2012-present
Member of External Review Board, Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago, 2014
Treasurer, New Zealand Asian Studies Society, 2009-2012

Peer reviewing
University of Hamburg Buddhist Studies Series (University of Hamburg Press),
Austrian Science Fund, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Oxford Journal of Buddhist Studies, Buddhist Studies Review, Central Asiatic Journal, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Singaporean Journal of Buddhist Studies, Indo-Iranian Journal, Relegere, Taida Foxue yanjiu 臺大佛學研究.

Scholarships, Prizes, Research Grants

  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Advanced Researchers, 2015
  • VUW Contestable Research Grant for two weeks' travel to Kyōto to collect materials for Paramārtha research project, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, 2006
  • Departmental Fellowship, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, 2000-2005
  • CUE (Bok Center) Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University, Spring 2003
  • University of Auckland Masters Scholarship, 1995

Research Languages

English, classical Chinese, Sanskrit, Pali, classical Tibetan, Mandarin, Japanese, German, French, Italian.

Other Languages

Te Reo Māori (intermediate).

Professional Memberships

  • International Association of Buddhist Studies
  • Indogaku Bukkyōgaku Kenkyūkai 印度学佛教学研究会 (Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies)
  • Society for the Study of Chinese Religions
  • New Zealand Asian Studies Society
  • Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies

Selected publications

"On the Ekottarikāgama 增壹阿含經 T 125 as a Work of Zhu Fonian 竺佛念." Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies 30 (2017): 1-31.

"Problems of Attribution, Style, and Dating Relating to the "Great Cloud Sūtras" in the Chinese Buddhist Canon (T 387, T 388/S.6916)." In Buddhist Transformations and Interactions: Papers in Honor of Antonino Forte, edited by Victor Mair, Tansen Sen, and Chen Jinhua, 235-289. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2017

"Were the Ekottarika-āgama 增壹阿含經 T 125 and the Madhyama-āgama 中阿含經 T 26 Translated by the Same Person? An Assessment on the Basis of Translation Style." In Research on the Madhyama-āgama, edited by Dhammadinnā, 209-237. Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts Research Series 5. Taipei: Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation, 2017 (with Anālayo Bhikkhu).

"Perfected Embodiment: A Buddhist-Inspired Challenge to Contemporary Theories of the Body." In Refiguring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions, edited by Barbara A. Holdrege and Karen Pechelis, 17-58. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2016.

"Pure Mind in India: Indian Background to Paramārtha’s *Amalavijñāna." Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 39 (2016): 249-308.

"Chō toshite no tamashii, arui wa chō no tamashii 蝶としての魂 あるいは蝶の魂 [Butterfly Souls]." Special Issue for the Retirement of Professor Shingū Kazushige 新宮一成教授 退職記念号. Ningen sonzairon 人間存在論/Menschenontologie 22 (2016): 17-27.

"A ‘Prehistory’ to Chinese Debates on the Survival of Death by the Spirit, with a Focus on the Term shishen 識神/shenshi 神識." Journal of Chinese Religions 44, no. 2 (2016): 105-126.

"Tibetan Evidence for the Sources of Chapters of the Synoptic Suvarṇaprabhāsottama-sūtra T664 Ascribed to Paramārtha." Buddhist Studies Review 32, no. 2 (2015): 245-270.

The Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra and the Emergence of Tathāgatagarbha Doctrine. Hamburg Buddhist Studies 5. Edited by Michael Zimmermann. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press, 2015.

Review of The Body Incantatory: Spells and the Ritual Imagination in Medieval Chinese Buddhism, by Paul Copp. Sheng Yen Series in Buddhist Studies. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014. Tang Studies 33 (2015): 91-110.

"Tathāgatagarbha Scriptures." In Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Volume One: Literature and Languages, edited by Jonathan Silk, Oskar von Hinüber, and Vincent Eltschinger, 261-273. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Lin, Chen-kuo and Michael Radich, eds. A Distant Mirror: Articulating Indic Ideas in Sixth and Seventh Century Chinese Buddhism. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press, 2014.

Radich, Michael. "Ideas about 'Consciousness' in Fifth and Sixth Century Chinese Buddhist Debates on the Survival of Death by the Spirit, and the Chinese Background to *Amalavijñāna." In A Distant Mirror: Articulating Indic Ideas in Sixth and Seventh Century Chinese Buddhism, edited by Chen-kuo Lin and Michael Radich, 471-512. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press, 2014.

Radich, Michael and Chen-kuo Lin. "Introduction." In A Distant Mirror: Articulating Indic Ideas in Sixth and Seventh Century Chinese Buddhism, edited by Chen-kuo Lin and Michael Radich, 15-31. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press, 2014.

"On the Sources, Style and Authorship of Chapters of the Synoptic Suvarṇaprabhāsottama-sūtra T664 Ascribed to Paramārtha (Part 1)." Annual Report of The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology 17 (2014): 207-244.

"Immortal Buddhas and Their Indestructible Embodiments: The Advent of the Concept of Vajrakāya." Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 34 (2011 [2013]): 227-290.

"External Evidence Relating to Works Ascribed to Paramārtha, with a Focus on Traditional Chinese Catalogues." In Shintai sanzō kenkyū ronshū 真諦三藏研究論集 [Studies of the Works and Influence of Paramartha], edited by Funayama Tōru 船山徹, 39-102[L]. Kyoto: Kyōto daigaku jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo/Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, 2012.

How Ajātaśatru Was Reformed: The Domestication of "Ajase" and Stories in Buddhist History. Studia Philologica Buddhica Monograph Series XXVII. Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 2011.

"Embodiments of the Buddha in Sarvâstivāda Doctrine: With Special Reference to the *Mahavibhāṣā." Annual Report of The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology 13 (2010): 121-172

"Budda no 'karada' ['Bodies' of the Buddha]." Jinkan Forum ['Forum', Bulletin of the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University] 26 (2010): 48-53.

"The Doctrine of *Amalavijñāna in Paramārtha (499-569), and Later Authors to Approximately 800 C.E." Zinbun 41 (2008): 45-174.

"Problems and Opportunities in the Study of the Bodies of the Buddha", New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 9, 1 (June, 2007): 46-69.

"Being Irrational": Lacan, the Objet a, and the Golden Mean (Tokyo: Gakuju Shoin, 2004), translation of Shingū Kazushige, Rakan no seishinbunseki (Kōdansha).

"Shôbôgenzô  ‘Kaiin zanmai’." Translated with Carl Bielefeldt, Dharma Eye, No. 14 (Spring, 2004).

Search