I am an anthropologist of Tibetan and Himalayan religion, interested in religion in Asia (especially South Asia, Tibet, and the Himalaya), landscape, spirit possession, the anthropology of religion, and the history of Western involvement with Asian religions.
My research focuses on landscape, the role of perception, and the relationship between Tibetan Buddhist ritual authority and local spirits and deities in the Ladakh region of Himalayan India. My approach to these topics is situated within a framework of social phenomenology influenced by medical anthropology, emphasising the social distribution of knowledge and the persistent presence of epistemic uncertainty. I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Ladakh (2013, 2014, and 2019), and I am currently revising my doctoral thesis for publication as a monograph tentatively entitled The Palace and the Night: Spirits and Landscape in Ladakh.
At Leiden, my teaching focuses on the anthropology of religion, religion in South Asia, pilgrimage, and theories of religion.
PhD in Social Anthropology, University of Aberdeen, UK
MSc in Social Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK
BA in Archaeology, University College London, UK
- Pearce C.J. (2020), Voices from the mountainside: vernacular sbas yul in the western Himalaya. In: Garrett F., McDougal E. & Samuel G. (Eds.) Hidden lands in Himalayan myth and history: transformations of sbas yul through time. Brill's Tibetan Studies Library no. 46 Leiden: Brill. 256-275.
- Pearce C.J. (2020), The Night-Side of Zangskar: Spirits, Landscape, and the Uncanny, Material Religion 16(4): 471-490.
- Pearce C.J. (2020), Review of: Karine Gagné (2018) Caring for Glaciers: Land, Animals, and Humanity in the Himalayas, Social Anthropology 28(3): 782-783.
- Pearce C.J. (2013), Review of: Margaret Gouin (2010) Tibetan rituals of death: Buddhist funerary practices, Mortality 18(3): 320-321.
- Pearce C.J. (2013), Review of: Paul Williams and Patrice Ladwig eds. (2012) Buddhist Funeral Cultures of Southeast Asia and China, Mortality 18(4): 388-389.
No relevant ancillary activities