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Andrew Steven Taylor

PhD 2021


  • University of Virginia - PhD Candidate, Religious Studies (Current)
  • Harvard Divinity School - MTS Buddhist Studies
  • Guilford College - BA with Highest Honors, Religious Studies

Andrew Taylor’s research draws on feminist epistemologies to reimagine comparative religion as both a field and a method. His dissertation juxtaposes the ecumenical discourses of the Tibetan Buddhist Jamgön Kongtrül (1813-99) and the Quaker mystic Rufus Jones (1863-1948) in hopes of modeling a new form of comparison that redresses the critiques of the enterprise's postmodern discontents. Most importantly, Andrew's great-grandmother once said of him, "He uses his noggin for more than just a hat rack."

Research Interests

  • Sino-Tibetan Studies
  • Buddhist Studies
  • Comparative Religion
  • Feminist Theory
  • American Liberal Religion

Selected Publications

  • 2020. “Tilling the Fields of Merit: The Institutionalization of Feminine Enlightenment in Tibet’s First Khenmo Program.” With Jue Liang.  Journal of Buddhist Ethics. Vol. 27.
  • 2020. “The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).” Database of Religious History. Vancouver, British Columbia: University of British Columbia.
  • 2020. “Constructing ‘Data’ in Religious Studies: Examining the Architecture of the Academy.” Book review. Religious Studies Review. Vol. 46-2: 211-212.

Selected Fellowships and Awards

  • Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowship in Buddhist Studies (2019-20)
  • Fulbright Open Research Award (2019-20)
  • Taiwanese Government’s Hanyu Enrichment Scholarship (2019)
    • All-University Graduate Teaching Award (2018-19)
  • Chinese Governmental Scholarship (2017-18)
  • Mandarin Training Center (National Taiwan Normal University) Merit Scholarship (2016)
  • Dean’s Fellow, Harvard Divinity School (2012-14)
  • Fairbanks Center Research Grant (2013)

Research Languages

  • Classical Tibetan (reading)
  • Modern Tibetan
  • Modern Mandarin Chinese
  • Classical and Literary Chinese (reading)
  • Sanskrit (reading)
  • Japanese (reading)
  • French (reading)

Selected Lectures and Conference Presentations

  • Celibate Mothers: Motherhood and Gendered Discourse in Contemporary Tibetan Monastic Communities. International Association of Buddhist Studies. Seoul, South Korea. Fall, 2021. (forthcoming)
  • Implicit and Explicit Comparison in Religious Studies Scholarship: A Collaborative Experiment in the Use of Buddhist Categories. American Academy of Religion. Roundtable participant. Boston, U.S.A. November, 2020. (forthcoming)
  • The History and Future of Tibet’s First Scholar-Nuns. With Liang Jue. Tibet Himalaya Initiative, University of Colorado-Boulder. October, 2020.
  • 康区堪姆课程对性别实践的再想象:从马克思主义与佛教立场认识论出发. (Reimagining Gendered Practice in Khenmo Program in Eastern Tibet: Marxist and Buddhist Standpoint Epistemologies.) Delivered in Chinese. Sichuan University, Invited LectureSichuan University. Chengdu, China. December, 2019.
  • 利美(རིས་མེད་): 教派体系 (གྲུབ་མཐའ་) 与大圆满 (རྫོགས་ཆེན་) 修行. (Ecumenicism as Doxography; Ecumenicism as Practice). Delivered in Chinese. First International Conference on the History and Culture of the Plateau Silk Road. Sichuan University. Chengdu, China. October, 2019.
  • Revaluing the Inferior Body: Subversive Complementarianism in Modern Khams. American Academy of Religion. Denver, U.S.A. November, 2018.
  • 无教派政治:蒋贡康楚仁波切之利美思想的初步探讨. (The Politics of Nonsectarianism: A Preliminary Investigation of Jamgon Kongtrul’s Ris Med). Delivered in Chinese. Sichuan University, Invited Lecture. Chengdu, China. June 2018.
  • Of Cannibals: The Essay as a Metaphysical Technology. Dalian Minzu University, Invited Lecture. Dalian, China. May 2018.
  • Translating Epics. Dalian Minzu University, Workshop Keynote. Dalian, China. December, 2017.
  • The Color and Shape of Gnosis: Embodied and Unembodied Recognitions in Longchenpa’s Treasury of the Supreme VehicleShaanxi Normal University: First International Symposium on Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. Xi’an, China. November, 2017.