Paul Copp

Associate Faculty; Associate Professor in Chinese Religion and Thought, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College; Director of Graduate Studies, East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Paul Copp studies the intellectual, material, and visual cultures of Chinese religion during the period stretching from the 8th through the 12th centuries. He is the author of The Body Incantatory: Spells and the Ritual Imagination in Medieval Chinese Buddhism (Columbia, 2014). At present, his main project is a paleographical and material-historical study of manuscript handbooks and liturgies discovered among the cache of materials at Dunhuang. Its working title is “Seal and Scroll: Buddhism and Material Culture at Dunhuang and Beyond.” His graduate seminars focus on the philological close reading of texts in their historical (and often material) contexts; on methods for the use of manuscripts, epigraphy, and archaeological remains in the study of pre-modern religious practice; as well as on critical engagement with the fields of Sinology and the history of religions.