Huaiyu Chen

School of Hist, Phil, and Rel Studies
Arizona State University
PO Box 874302
Assoc Professor
TEMPE Campus


Huaiyu Chen is an associate professor of religious studies at the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, with a joint appointment at the School of International Letters and Cultures. He has also held several visiting positions in North America, Europe, and Asia, such as a membership of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2011-2012, a Spalding Visiting Fellowship at Clare Hall of Cambridge University in 2014-2015, a visiting professorship at Beijing Normal University in June-July 2015, a visiting scholarship at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin in June-July, 2018, and a visiting scholarship at Institute for Religions and Ethics of Tsinghua University in August, 2018. 


  • Ph.D. Princeton University 2005
  • M.A. Beijing University
  • B.A. Beijing Normal University

Research Interests

My research interests span Buddhism and Nestorian Christianity, and medieval Chinese social and cultural history. I am also interested in modern intellectual history, in particular, the cultural construction of religious studies as an academic discipline in modern China.



  • “Orientalisms in China.” Journal of the Society for Asian Humanities (formerly the Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia) 52, Special Issue: What’s in a Name? After Orientalism (2021), pp. 141-146.
  • “The Other as the Transformed Alliance: Living with the Tiger in Medieval Chinese Daoism.” Polylog. Zeitschrift für interkulturelles Philosophieren 45 (2021), pp. 4-22.
  • “From Germanist to Sinologist: The Transnational Journey of a US Progressive in the Early Twentieth Century.” Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 48: 2 (2021), pp. 125-148.
  • co-authored. “Animals, Divination, and Climate: An Environmental Note on the Cult of the Pig in Ancient China.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (2021),
  • “Shared Issues in a Shared Textual Community: Buddhist, Christian, and Daoist Texts in Tang China.” In: The Church of the East in Central Asia and China. Edited by Samuel N. Lieu and Glen Thompson. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2020, pp. 93-109.
  • The Cult of Cintamani: On the Nature of the Dunhuang Manuscript P. 4518 (10) and its Context.” Chinese Studies in History 53: 3 (2020), pp. 227-241.
  • A Study on a Stone Lantern from Dongzhang Village in Medieval China.” Studies in Chinese Religions 5: 2(2019), pp. 306-329.
  • “Honoring the Dead: The Buddhist Reinvention of Portrait Eulogies in Early Medieva China,” in: Mu-chou Poo and H. A. Drake eds., Old Society, New Belief: Religious Transformation of China and Rome, ca. 1st-6th Centuries, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 91-105. 
  • “The Benji jing and the Anle jing: Reflections on Two Daoist and Christian Manuscripts from Turfan and Dunhuang.” Studies in Chinese Religions Vol. 1, No. 3 (2015), pp. 209- 228.
  • Huaiyu Chen and Liu Zhen. Some reflections on an early Mahayana text Hastikak?yasutra. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (2014).
  • Huaiyu Chen. East Asian Transformation of Monasticism. Blackwell Companion to East and Inner Asian Buddhism (2014).
  • Huaiyu Chen. Multiple Traditions in One Ritual: A Reading of the Buddhist Liturgical Texts for Lantern Ritual in Dunhuang Manuscripts. Buddhism across Asia: Networks of Material, Intellectual and Cultural Exchange (2014).
  • Huaiyu Chen. The Rise and Decline of the Scriptural Platforms in Medieval Chinese Buddhism. Material Religion (2013).
  • Huaiyu Chen. Society and Religious Patronage along the Silk Road: The Inscriptional Evidence from Turfan. Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook (2013).
  • Huaiyu Chen. Newly Identified Khotanese Buddhist Fragments in the British Library and their Chinese Parallels. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (2012).
  • Huaiyu Chen. Animals in Medieval Chinese Political and Religious Order. (2012).
  • Huaiyu Chen. A Brief Note on the Khotanese Fragment SI M 38 in the St. Petersburg Collection. Manuscripta Orientalia (2010).
  • Huaiyu Chen. The Buddhist Classification of Animals and Plants in Tang China. Journal of Asian History (2009).
  • Huaiyu Chen. The Encounter of Nestorian Christianity with Tantric Buddhism in Medieval China. Hidden Treasures and Intercultural Encounters: Studies on East Syriac Christianity in China and Central Asia (2009).
  • Huaiyu Chen. The Revival of Buddhist Monasticism in Medieval China. (2007).
  • Huaiyu Chen. The Connection between Nestorian and Buddhist Texts in Late Tang China. Jingjiao: The Church of the East in China and Central Asia (2006).

Research Activity


Spring 2021
Course Number Course Title
REL 351 Buddhism
CHI 598 Special Topics
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
REL 207 Ritual, Symbol, and Myth
REL 351 Buddhism
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
REL 351 Buddhism
CHI 598 Special Topics
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
REL 307 Religion: Theory and Practice
REL 351 Buddhism
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
REL 351 Buddhism
CHI 598 Special Topics
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
REL 351 Buddhism
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
REL 207 Ritual, Symbol, and Myth
REL 494 Special Topics
CHI 598 Special Topics
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
REL 351 Buddhism
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
REL 346 Chinese Religions
REL 691 Seminar
CHI 691 Seminar


1. October 26-28, 2017. The Rise of the Asian History in Mainland China in the 1950s: A Global Perspective. The Conference Conceptions of the World in Twentieth-Century Chinese Historiography. University of Gottingen, Germany.

2. August 20-25, 2017. Liturgies for Creating Four Mandalas in Dunhuang Manuscripts. The XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. Toronto, Canada.

3. November 19-22, 2016. Discussant for Panel Buddhist Art, Law, and Manuscript Culture in Dunhuang. The Annual Conference of American Academy of Religion, San Antonio, Texas.

4. April 15, 2016. Theory without Borders in Comparative Area Studies: Timing States in South and East Asia. Symposium organized by the Department of Religion and Culture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.

5. November 21-24, 2015. Living with Tigers in Medieval Chinese Religions. 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, GA.


2018. August. Visiting Scholarship. Institute for Religion and Ethcis, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

2018. June-July. Visiting Scholarship. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, Germany.

2016. Research Grant. American Academy of Religion.

2014-2015. Spalding Visiting Fellowship, Clare Hall, Cambridge University.

2011-2012. Membership. Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

2008-2009. Junior Scholar Grant. Chiang Ching-kuo Founation for International Scholarly Exchange.


Professional Associations

American Academy of Religion

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Association for Asian Studies

American Oriental Society

International Association for Buddhist Studies


  • Chinese Studies in History (Routledge), Editorial Board Member (2021-Present)
  • Journal of Jiangxi Culture (Nanchang), Editorial Board Member (2015 - Present)
  • Journal of Dunhuang Studies (Taiwan), Editorial Board Member (2015 - Present)
  • Studies in Chinese Religions (Routledge), Editorial Board Member (2014 - Present)
  • Singaporean Journal of Buddhist Studies, Editorial Board member (2012 - Present)
  • Journal of Humanities and Religious Studies, Editorial Board Member (2011 - Present)
  • Frontiers of History in China (Journal), Book Review Editor (2011 - Present)

Expertise Areas