Linda Penkower

  • Associate Professor


Medieval Chinese and Japanese Buddhist history, Tiantai Buddhism, religious identity and ritual, contemporary religion in East Asia


Religion in Asia, Religion and Culture in East Asia, East Asian Buddhism, Death and Beyond in Buddhist Cultures, Chinese Religious Traditions, East Asian Meditative Traditions

University Affiliations

Core faculty member of the China Studies Program, Japan Studies Program, and Asian Studies Center of the University Center for International Studies

Overseas Experience

Linda Penkower has spent some nine years living and conducting research in Japan and a year in China, where she participated in the Peking University, Department of Philosophy and Religion, 90th Anniversary Commemorative Volume (2004) [coeditor and cotranslator].

Education & Training

  • PhD, Columbia University, 1993

Representative Publications

Hindu Rituals at the Margins: Innovatiions, Transformations, Reconsiderations, University of South Carolina Press [coeditor with Tracy Pintchman].

"Introduction,"co-authored with Tracy Pintchman, in Hindu Ritual at the Margins: Innovations, Transformations, Reconsiderations, University of South Carolina Press [coeditor with Tracy Pintchman].

"In the Beginning…Guanding (561-632) and the Creation of Early Tiantai," Journal of the International Association for Buddhist Studies 23.2 (fall 2000).

"Making and Remaking Tradition: Chan-jan’s Strategies toward a T’ang T’ien-t’ai Agenda," in Tendai daishi no kenkyū, edited by Tendai daishi no kenkyū henshū i-inkai, Kyoto: Tendai gakkai, 1997.

"'Turning the Wheel' in the North American Classroom," in Seikai no shūkyō kyōkasho (Textbooks on Religions from Around the World), Taishō University Press, 2008 (DVD) [in English and Japanese].

Contemporary Chinese Societies: Continuity and Change, CD-ROM, Columbia University Press, 2001 [with University of Pittsburgh Chinese Studies Faculty]. Winner of the 2002 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize of The Committee on Teaching About Asia.

Yomigaeru Tōtō—The Eastern Pagoda, Phoenix of Mount Hiei, a documentary on the 1000-day walking meditation of the Tendai Buddhist “marathon” monks, JVC Yamamoto and Fuji Sankei Communications, Inc., Japan, 1982 [translator].