External Researchers, Researchers

Wei Wu 吴薇

Wei Wu 吴薇 received her Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University in 2017. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University.  Her research interests range from cross-cultural religious exchange, to Buddhist modernity, to the interaction between religion and the state. Her research has been supported by grants from several funding sources including an ACLS/Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation fellowship. 

Her monograph in preparation, Indigenization of Tibetan Buddhism in Twentieth-Century China, documents the transmission of certain lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and their impact on local forms of Chinese Buddhism from the 1910s to the 1960s. In her research, she investigates the rise of a Tibetan Gelug lineage founded by Nenghai 能海 (1886–1967) in Sichuan. She conducted fieldwork in China for a year in 2013 and again in 2016. Using previously untapped temple manuscripts, her study shows that Tibetan Buddhism underwent transmutations in doctrines, praxis, and institutional formations to adapt to the Chinese Buddhist world. Her study also highlights Sichuan’s distinct cultures and geographical location for facilitating the admixture of Tibetan and Chan Buddhism.


  1. “Making a Tibetan Sect in Twentieth-Century China,” Studies in Chinese Religions 3, no. 3 (Nov): 242–257.


  1. “Understanding Chinese Scriptures through the Lens of Tibetan Commentaries,” at the Fifteenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Paris.
  1. “In Search of a Path to Enlightenment: The Modern Chinese Interpretation of Tibetan Doctrines,” at the International Forum on Modern Chinese Buddhism, Princeton University Buddhist Studies Workshop, Princeton, NJ.
  1. “Distinction and Inclusiveness: The Rise of a Tibetan Esoteric School and Anti-Sectarian Trends in Republican China,” at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (the Holmes Welch and the Study of Buddhism in Twentieth- Century China Seminar), Atlanta.

Leave a Reply