Christian K. Wedemeyer
Associate Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School; also in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. (Columbia University)
Christian Wedemeyer's work addresses topics of history, literature, and ritual in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. Within this very general domain, the focus of his research has been the esoteric (Tantric) Buddhist traditions. He has written on the modern historiography of Tantric Buddhism; antinomianism in the Indian esoteric traditions; canonicity, textual criticism, and strategies of legitimating authority in classical Tibetan scholasticism; and the semiology of esoteric Buddhist ritual.
His most recent book, Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in the Indian Traditions, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. Previously, he authored a text-critical study of one of the principal Indian works on esoteric praxis: Āryadeva’s Lamp that Integrates the Practices (Caryāmelāpakapradīpa): The Gradual Path of Vajrayāna Buddhism according to the Esoteric Community Noble Tradition (critically edited Sanskrit and Tibetan texts, annotated English translation, and study; American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2007). He has coedited two volumes: Tibetan Buddhist Literature and Praxis: Studies in its Formative Period, 900–1400 (Brill 2006, with Ronald M. Davidson), and Hermeneutics, Politics and the History of Religions: The Contested Legacies of Joachim Wach and Mircea Eliade (Oxford 2010, with Wendy Doniger). His work has appeared in various journals, including Journal of the American Academy of Religion, History of Religions, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, and Journal of the American Oriental Society. Courses he has offered include Indian Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Mahayana Sutra Literature, Issues in Indian Esoteric Buddhism, Ritual in South Asian Buddhism, Tibetan Auto/biography, Introduction to Religion and the Human Sciences, Classical Theories of Religion, and Contemporary Perspectives on the History of Religions.