University of Pittsburgh
three small photographs depicting various religious icons

Department of Religious Studies


Linda Penkower

Associate Professor
PhD, Columbia University, 1993

2609 Cathedral of Learning


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

Selected 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].

Selected Honors and Awards

U.S. Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship, 1994-1995, 2002-2003

American Council of Learned Societies-National Endowment for the Humanities, National Program for Advanced Study and Research in China Program Fellowship, 2002-2003

Social Science Research Council, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship for American Researchers, 1999-2000

National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship for University Teachers, 1999-2000

Current Projects

Tiantai Buddhism and the Construction of Lineage during the Tang, Kuroda Institute, Studies in East Asian Buddhism, University of Hawai‘i Press

"Shared Sacrality: Insentient Buddha-nature in China and Japan" (book ms)

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].

Revised 03/05/16 | Copyright 2007 | Site by UMC WebTeam