Photograph of Prof. Dr. Carmen Meinert

Prof. Dr. Carmen Meinert

Chair for Central Asian Religions

Professor for Central Asian Religions
Deputy Director of the Center for Religious Studies (CERES)
Principal Investigator of ERC research project BuddhistRoad
Former KHK Visiting Research Fellow 

Carmen Meinert holds the chair for Central Asian Religions at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES)a unique position in Religious Studies at German universities. Trained in Buddhist Studies, Tibetan Studies and Sinology, she aims to develop the field of Central Asian religions more systematicallyalso through international cooperationsand to integrate Central Asian and Tibetan Studies, so far niched in small disciplines and unrelated to other fields, into the larger framework of Comparative Religious Studies. Thereby in-depth philological, art historian or other case studies will become relevant to other fieldsalso connecting Central Asia to the geographically surrounding area studies in the East, West and South. The latest project to show that is the BuddhistRoad Project. By so doing, the academic discipline of Central Asian religions may mirror the pivotal role Central Asia has played throughout history.

Carmen Meinert has studied and conducted research at the Universities of Bonn, Hamburg, Peking University, Sichuan University in Chengdu, Vienna, and at the renowned Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen. She had already been involved with Ruhr University Bochum before she became professor at CERES as a lecturer in the Department for East Asian Studies, a substitute professor for East Asian religions (twice), and a visiting research fellow at the prestigious Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe.

Newest Editions

2023. Buddhism in Central Asia III—Impacts of Non-Buddhist Influences, Doctrines, edited by Lewis Doney, Carmen Meinert, Henrik H. Sørensen, and Yukiyo Kasai, Dynamics in the History of Religion, Vol. 14, Leiden: Brill, 481 pages.

2020. Buddhism in Central Asia I—Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage, edited by Carmen Meinert and Henrik H. Sørensen, Dynamics in the History of Religion, Vol. 11, Leiden: Brill, 321 pages.

2018. Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia, edited by Carmen Meinert, Ann Heirman and Christoph Anderl, Dynamics in the History of Religion, Vol. 10, Leiden: Brill, 436 pages.

2016. Transfer of Buddhism Across Central Asian Networks (7th to 13th Centuries), edited by Carmen Meinert, Dynamics in the History of Religion, Vol. 8, Leiden: Brill, 333 pages.

Series Editor of “Climate and Culture” together with Claus Leggewie

2021. Middle East and North Africa Climate, Culture, and Conflicts, edited by Eckart Ehlers and Katajun Amirpur, Climate and Culture, Vol. 6, Leiden: Brill, 339 pages. 

2019. Environmental Change and African Societies, edited by Ingo Haltermann und Julia Tischler, Climate and Culture, Vol. 5, Leiden: Brill, 347 pages. [Open Access]

2018. Climate Change and Cultural Transition in Europe, edited by Claus Leggewie and Franz Mauelshagen, Climate and Culture, Vol. 4, Leiden: Brill, 314 pages.

2015. Cultural Dynamics of Climate Change and the Environment in Northern America, edited by Bernd Sommer, Climate and Culture, Vol. 3, Leiden: Brill, 426 pages. [Open Access]

2014. Environmental and Climate Change in South and Southeast Asia, edited by Barbara Schuler, Climate and Culture, Vol. 2, Leiden: Brill, 328 pages.

2013. Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia, edited by Carmen Meinert, Climate and Culture, Vol. 1, Leiden: Brill, 443 pages.

Office Hours

on appointment

Areas of Research

Medieval Studies: Transfer of Buddhism in Central Asia, Tibet and China; Early Tantric and Esoteric Traditions in Tibet and China; Manuscript Studies (Dunhuang, Kharakhoto); Buddhism and Art; Buddhism and Violence; Contemporary Studies: Buddhism and Human Rights; Cultural Perspectives on Environmental and Climate Change

Vice Director of Center for Religious Studies and CERES Directorate

Principal Investigator of CRC 1475 „Metaphors of Religion“

Professor of Central Asian History of Religions , Center for Religious Studies and CERES Teaching

Project Leader of Subproject A03

Member of Research Department of CERES RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

Former Projects and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator of BuddhistRoad

Project Leader of An Enquiry into the Development of the Dzogchen Tradition in the Commentaries of the Tibetan Scholar Nubchen Sangye Yeshe (10th Century) and Nyang ral's Codification of rNying ma Literature and Ritual

Individual Researcher of Politics and Religion Between the 8th and 11th Century in Central Asia, Tibet and Song China

Fellow of Käte Hamburger Kolleg

Colleague of Käte Hamburger Kolleg

Member of Study Advisory Board