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I teach about religion in China and East Asia, with a focus on Buddhism. In my research I specialize in the intellectual and institutional history of Chinese Buddhism during the modern period. I have studied Buddhist responses to elements of modernity, such as the discourses surrounding both religion and modern science; and I am currently writing a “biography” of Huáyán 華嚴 school of Chinese Buddhism in the early twentieth century. As an extension of my work on Chinese Buddhism, I helped establish the Database of Modern Chinese Buddhism.


Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington (2010)

Master of Arts in Asian Religion, University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa (2003)



2015  The Science of Chinese Buddhism: Early Twentieth-Century Engagements. Columbia University Press, Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

2016  “Avataṃsaka 華嚴 Transnationalism in Modern Sinitic Buddhism.” Journal of Global Buddhism, vol. 17: 65-84 <;

2014   “A Buddhist Critique of Scientism.” Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies, vol. 27: 35-57. <;

2013  “The Heart-of-Mind Method: Legitimating a New Buddhist Movement in 1930s China.” Nova Religio, vol. 17, no. 2: 5-23.

2012 [2011]  “Science and Buddhist Modernism in Early 20th Century China: the Life and Works of Wang Xiaoxu 王小徐.” Journal of Chinese Religion, vol. 39: 1-32.

2012  “Early 20th Century Buddhist Microbiology and Shifts in Chinese Buddhism’s ‘Actual Canon’.” Theology and Science, vol. 10, no. 1: 3-18.

2010  “The Expression ‘The Myriad Dharmas are Only Consciousness’ in Early 20th Century Chinese Buddhism.” Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal, vol. 23: 71-92. < 71-92.pdf>

Book Chapters

2016  “Buddhism and the Modern Epistemic Space: Buddhist Intellectuals in the Science and Philosophy of Life Debates.” In Recovering Buddhist China in the Twentieth-Century, edited by Jan Kiely and J. Brooks Jessup, 79-110. New York: Columbia University      Press, Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies.

2014  “Yogācāra and Science in the 1920s: The Wuchang School’s Approach to Modern Mind Science.” In Transforming Consciousness: Yogācāra Thought in Modern China, edited by John Makeham, 170-197. New York: Oxford University Press.

Blog Posts

    Erik Hammerstrom

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