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).