Yu Bai is a PhD candidate funded by the European Research Council under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan A. Silk and Dr. Antonello Palumbo.
Fields of interest
- Mahāyāna Buddhism
- Nestorian Christianity
- Chinese Buddhism
- Buddhist Literature
- History of Medieval China
Growing up in a family where Buddhism and Chinese folk religion coexisted, Yu Bai (Ch. 白宇) had strong opinions about Buddhism during his youth and instead developed an interest in Christian theology. However, during his time at university, he became fascinated by Buddhism and was determined to continue his study of this religion.
Yu completed his master in Heidelberg under the guidance of Prof. Michael Radich and received training in Tibetan Studies in Hamburg with Prof. Dorji Wangchuk. His MA thesis focused on a medieval Jingjiao (景教, Chinese Nestorian) text and investigated the interaction between a Buddhist translator and a Jingjiao figure in late 8th to early 9th century China.
As for his PhD dissertation, Yu intends to probe into the relationship between the emperors and Buddhist texts in the first half of the Tang dynasty, and the interaction between Buddhism and the state in general. He is examining and translating a corpus of nine Buddhist prefaces composed in the name of the emperor from the founding of the Tang dynasty in 618 until the beginning of the reign of Xuanzong 玄宗 (r. 712-756).
2017: Visiting Student, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, Hamburg University, Germany
2016-2018: MA Transcultural Studies (with a focus on Buddhist Studies), passed with distinction (“sehr gut”), Heidelberg University, Germany
2012-2016: BA (Hons.) Contemporary English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University, China
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