Charles D. Orzech
Professor of Religious Studies and Chair, Department of Art
Ph.D. Divinity, History of Religions, University of Chicago, 1986
M.A. Divinity, University of Chicago, 1975
B.A. Independent Concentration Religion / East Asian Languages, University of Massachusetts, 1974 cum laude
Yale-China International Asian Studies Program at Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1981-1982
Middlebury College Chinese Summer Language Institute (Elem. & Adv. Mandarin), 1973, 1975
Areas of Expertise
- Buddhism, Daoism, Chinese religion
- Esoteric Buddhism / Buddhist Tantras
- Ritual and liturgy
- Critical theory in the study of religion
- Religion, semiotics, and visual culture
- Religion and Museums
- Material Religion
Courses Currently Teaching
|EA263 A||Buddhism across East Asia|
|RE265 A||Buddhism: An Introduction|
|RE331 A||Mysticism, Spirituality, and Religious Experience|
My primary interests are in cultural contact and interaction and in the fundamental hybridity of human cultural activity. I explore these interests primarily through research on the appropriation and transformation of late Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism in eighth- through thirteenth-century China, through examining images of Buddhism in the modern West, and through studying religious objects in museums.
Before coming to Colby in 2017 I was Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (now professor emeritus) and Reader in Religion, Conflict, and Transition at the University of Glasgow (now Honorary Research Fellow). For more on my teaching, research interests, and publications see my sites at:
I am the author of Politics and Transcendent Wisdom: The Scripture for Humane Kings in the Creation of Chinese Buddhism (Pennsylvania State University Press, Hermeneutics Series, 1998). More recently, I was the general editor of Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia (1200 pages, E. J. Brill).
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