D. Max Moerman

D. Max Moerman

Research Interest


Ph.D., Religious Studies, Stanford University, 1999
B.A., Religion, Columbia University, 1986


D. Max Moerman is Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures. He is Co-Chair of the Columbia University Seminar in Buddhist Studies and an Associate Director of the Columbia Center for Buddhism and Asian Religions. He holds an A.B. from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. His research interests are in the visual and material culture of Japanese religions.

Select Publications

“The Buddha and the Bathwater: Defilement and Enlightenment in the Arima Engi.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 42/1 (2015): 71-87.

“The Death of the Dharma: Sutra Burials in Early Medieval Japan.” In Kristina Myrvold, ed. The Death of Sacred Texts: Ritual Disposal and Renovation of Texts in the World Religions.  Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2010. 

“Demonology and Eroticism: Islands of Women in the Japanese Buddhist Imagination.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 36/2 (2009).

“Dying Like the Buddha: Intervisuality and the Cultic Image.” Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America 28 (2007-2008).

“The Archeology of Anxiety: An Underground History of Heian Religion.” In Centers and Peripheries in Heian Japan, ed. Mikael Adolphson and Edward Kamens. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007.

“Passage to Fudaraku: Suicide and Salvation in Premodern Japanese Buddhism.” In The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Representations, ed. Jacqueline I. Stone. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007.

Localizing Paradise: Kumano Pilgrimage and the Religious Landscape of Premodern Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2005.

"The Ideology of Landscape and the Theater of State: Imperial Pilgrimage to Kumano." Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 24 3-4 (Fall 1997).