Prof. Meir Shahar

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Prof. Meir Shahar
Phone: 03-6405952
Another phone: 03-6407836
Fax: 03-6405950
Office: Gilman-humanities, 270

about

Meir Shahar received his undergraduate degree from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.  After studying Chinese in Taipei, he went on to pursue graduate studies in the United States, receiving his PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 1992.  Meir Shahar is currently Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of East Asian Studies, Tel Aviv University.

Meir Shahar’s research interests include the interplay of Chinese religion and Chinese literature, Chinese martial-arts history, Chinese esoteric Buddhism, and the impact of Indian mythology on the Chinese pantheon of divinity.

Meir Shahar is the author of Crazy Ji: Chinese Religion and Popular Literature (Harvard University Asia Center, 1998); Oedipal God: the Chinese Nezha and his Indian Origins (University of Hawaii Press, 2015)and the Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts (University of Hawaii Press, 2008), which has been translated into several languages including Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, and Polish.  He is the co-editor (with Robert Weller) of Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China (University of Hawaii Press, 1996); the co-editor (with John Kieschnick) of India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought (The University of Pennsylvania Press,2013); and the co-editor (with Yael Bentor) of Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism (Brill, 2017).  He is currently researching the Horse King (also known as the Horse God), who has been the tutelary deity of Chinese horses, donkeys, and mules.

Meir Shahar’s Hebrew-Language publications include The Chinese Religion (הדת הסינית) (1998) and a translation of Wu Cheng’en’s Monkey and the Magic Gourd (קוף ודלעת הקסמים), with drawings by Noga Zhang Shahar (נגה ג'אנג שחר).

Publications

Books:

- Crazy Ji: Chinese Religion and Popular Literature. Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, 48. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 1998.

- The Chinese Religion (הדת הסינית) (in Hebrew). Tel Aviv: The Broadcast University Series Press, 1998.

- Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China. Co-edited with Robert Weller. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1996.

- Monkey and the Magic Gourd (קוף ודלעת הקסמים) (in Hebrew). By Wu Cheng'en. Translated and Adapted by Meir Shahar.  Drawings by Noga Zhang Shahar (נגה ג'אנג שחר). Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2008. 

- The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion and the Chinese Martial Arts. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008.

  • Chinese translation: Shaolin si: Lishi, zongjiao, yu wushu.  Translated by Zhao Dianhong. Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2016.
  • Portuguese translation: O Mosteiro de Shaolin: História, Religião e as Artes Marciais Chinesas. Translated by Rodrigo Wolff Apolloni and Rodrigo Borges de Faveri. São Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, 2011.
  • Polish translation: Klasztor  Shaolin: Historia, religia i chińskie sztuki walki. Translated by Justyn Hunia. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, 2011.
  • Italian translation: Il Monastero di Shaolin: Storia, religione e arti marziali cinesi. Translated by B. Mottura. Roma: Astrolabio Ubaldini, 2011. 

-  Oedipal God: the Chinese Nezha and his Indian Origins. University of Hawai'i Press, 2015.

-  Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism. Co-edited with Yael Bentor. Leiden: Brill, 2017. 

-  India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought. Co-edited with John Kieschnick. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.  

 

Select Essays

- “The Lingyin si Monkey Disciples and the Origins of Sun Wukong.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies52.1 (June 1992): 193-224.

- “Vernacular Fiction and the transmission of the Chinese Pantheon.” In Meir Shahar and Robert Weller, eds., Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press. Reprinted in Critical Readings on Religions of China. Edited by Vincent Goossaert. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

- “Epigraphy, Buddhist Historiography, and Fighting Monks: The Case of the Shaolin Monastery,” Asia Major 13.2 (2000): 15-36.

- “Ming-Period Evidence of Shaolin Martial Practice.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 61.2 (December 2001):359-413.

- “Diamond Body: The Origins of Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts.” In Perfect Bodies: Sports Medicine and Immortality. Edited by Vivienne Lo. London: British Museum, 2012.

- "Religion in the Story of the Stone." In Approaches to Teaching The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber). Edited by Andrew Schonebaum and Tina Lu.  New York: Modern Language association of America, 2012.

- “Indian Mythology and the Chinese Imagination: Nezha, Nalakūbara, and Kṛṣṇa.” In John Kieschnick and Meir Shahar, editors, India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming.

- “Chinese Religions and Violence.”  In the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence. Edited by Michael Jerryson, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Margo Kitts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

 

  • Chinese translation: Shaolin si: Lishi, zongjiao, yu wushu.  Translated by Zhao Dianhong. Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2016. 
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