Zhaohua Yang

Zhaohua Yang

Research Interest


Zhaohua Yang received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He specializes in tantric or esoteric Buddhism in middle-period China. His research interests also include indigenous scriptures, the interactions between Buddhism and Daoism, and religions on the Silk Road. In addition to his training in pre-modern Dunhuang and Japanese manuscripts, he has done extensive fieldwork in Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, and the US. He is finishing his first book manuscript, Devouring Impurities: Code, Myth, Ritual and Talisman in the Cult of Ucchuṣma in Tang China (618-907), which explores Chinese responses to antinomian tantric practices as seen through a Dunhuang manuscript. He is also developing a second project on the transformations of Buddhist ritual in Late Imperial China (960-1450). He worked as a journalist prior to his graduate work.

Recent Publications

“Snake, Spell, Spirit, and Soteriology: The Birth of an Indian God Jiedi in Middle‑Period China (618–1279),” Religion, special issue on “The Supernatural in East Asia,” 14 (2023): 1-33.