Andrew Macomber is a Ph.D. candidate in East Asia Religions with a focus on premodern Japan. His dissertation explores technologies and techniques of healing central to the ways esoteric Buddhists transformed the medical culture of the medieval period. Beyond healing, his project shows how these therapeutic tools mediated intellectual and practical exchanges between Buddhists of competing traditions and court physicians, bridged ritual and remedial notions of efficacy, and ultimately offered esoteric Buddhists material means to manipulate, and thus call into being, the bodies, demons, diseases, and gods populating the medieval imaginary.
Before coming to Columbia in the fall of 2011, Andrew earned his B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2010), and his M.A. (2013) and M.Phil. (2014) from Columbia University's Department of Religion. As a Fellow of the Japan Foundation for the 2014-15 academic year, he is currently pursuing his research at Nagoya University, Aichi prefecture, Japan, and will continue this work as a recipient of the Monbukagakushō Scholarship from October 2015.