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Max Deeg

Professor Max Deeg

Professor in Buddhist Studies (Study Leave 2022/3)

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


Research interests

Prof Deeg is specialising in Buddhist history and the spread of Buddhism from India to Central Asia and East Asia. He has a special interest in Buddhist narratives and their role and function for the construction of historical identities in Buddhist communities. He is also interested in other religions in the wider Asian context (Hinduism, Jainism, Daoism, Manichaeism, Eastern Christianity) and in the history of research and its impact on academic narratives about Asian religions. His latest  monographs to be published will be one on Buddhist foundation myths and a German annotated translation of the Sino-Christian inscription of Xi'an from the 8th century. He is currently working on an new English translation and an extensive commentary of the Xiyu ji, the "Records of the Western Regions", by the Chinese monk Xuanzang (7th century). Prof. Deeg is member of several academic and editorial boards.























Book sections




I am currently working on two major projects: An English translation and extensive commentary of the Datang Xiyu ji and a translation and commentary (in German) of the Chinese Christian documents from the Tang period.



  • Religion, Culture and Society II (Introduction to Buddhism)
  • Life of the Buddha
  • Introductions to Sanskrit and Pali
  • Buddhist Sanskrit Texts
  • Mahayana Buddhism (planned for 2013)


I accept PhD students with an interest in a wide range of topics from Buddhist studies with the respective language skills (Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Japanese).


Education and qualifications

M.A., Dr.Phil., Dr.Phil.Habil., University Professor (Vienna), Professor (Chair, Cardiff).

Career overview

June 1986 -Magister Artium / M.A. in Germanic and Scandinavian Philology, German Linguistics and Indology.

1986-1987 - Language scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Kyoto-Nihongo-gakkō, Kyoto, Japan.

From 1987 - Ph.D. course in the subjects Indology, Japanese Studies, History of Religions; simultaneously instructor for Sanskrit, Institute of Indo-European Studies und Indology of the University of Würz-burg.

June 1990 - Dr. phil. in the subjects Indololgy (major), Japanese Studies, History of Religions (minors).

1990-1991 - German language teacher, German-Culture-Institute and Language Institute of the Military Academy, Taibei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

1991 / 1992 - Lecturer for Sanskrit and Japanese, Institute of Indo-European Studies and Indology, University of Würzburg.

1992-1997 - Lecturer for German Language and Culture (DAAD / German Academic Exchange Service), University of Nagoya, Japan; research activities in the field of Indian and Buddhist Studies.

1994-95 - Lecturer for Vedic Sanskrit at the „Department of Indian Philosophy", University of Nagoya.

1997-2001 - Lecturer at the Institute for Comparative History of Religions, University of Würzburg, Germany.

July 1998 - Academic degree of Dr.phil.habil. (professoral degree) for Religious Studies (Religionswissenschaft) of the Philosophical Faculty III,  University of Würzburg.

March 1999 - Appointment to Privatdozent (full professoral permission of academic teaching and examination); various courses on different aspects of Buddhism and Indian Religions.

1998-99 - Visiting research fellow, International College for Advanced Buddhist Studies / International Institute for Buddhist Studies, Tokyo, Japan (October / November 1998 and February / March 1999).

1999-2001 - Research project „Die chinesischen Nestorianica - Übersetzung und Studie" („The Chinese Nestorianica (of the Tang-Period) - A Translation and Study of the Texts"), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foun-dation).

January / February 2001 - Visiting researcher, LIRI (Lumbini International Research Institute), Nepal, research project: „Ka-pilavastu and Lumbini: The Chinese Texts and the Archaeological and Geographical Evidence" (with support of and in collaboration with Prof. Giuseppe Verardi, University of Napoli, Italy, archaeologist working in the area).

2001-2002 - Principal researcher on the DFG-project "Norm and practice in Medieval Indian Buddhism", University of Leipzig.

December 2001 - Visiting lecturer, Institute for Asian Languages, University of Beijing.

2002-2006 - Full professor for Religious Studies (Chair), Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Vienna.

February 2003 - Visiting Fellow, Jinbun-kagaku-kenkyūjo, Kyoto University (host: Dr. Tōru Funayama), Kyoto, Japan.

2004 / 2005 - Research project at the LIRI (Lumbini Interna-tional Research Institute), Nepal, research project: "Chinese Sources on Nepal – Trans-Himalayan Buddhist Founding Legends".

2005 - Visiting Professor, Kyoto University, Japan.

From 2006 - Senior Lecturer / Reader for Buddhist Studies, School of Religious and Theological Studies, Cardiff University, Wales UK.

August 2008 - Short-time Research Fellow of the Department of Chinese Linguistics, Beijing University.

From 2009 - Promotion to Personal Chair; Head of School of the School of Religious and Theological Studies and (since 2010) Head of Department, Department of Religious and Theological Studies, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Director of the Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA), Cardiff University

January 2009 / January 2010 - Research project at the LIRI, Nepal (together with Dr. Tibor Porcio, Szeged, Hungary), "A synoptic edition of the Sitātapātra-Dhāraṇī".

August 2010-January 2011 - Ad hoc fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR), Harvard University (during a Cardiff sabbatical)