David (Max) Moerman

D. Max Moerman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures. He is the Associate Director of the Donald Keene Center for Japanese Culture, Columbia University, and of the Columbia Center for Japanese Religions. He holds an A.B. from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. His research interests are in pre-modern Japanese culture.


“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).

Work in Progress

Geographies of the Imagination: Buddhism and the Japanese World Map. Under contract with Harvard University Asia Center.