Universiteit Leiden

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Philippe Buc

Professor Medieval History

Prof.dr. P.C.H. Buc
+31 71 527 2707

My research has focused on religion and power in medieval western and central Europe. I currently work comparatively, bringing in Japan, and focusing on religion and armed violence. I believe in good mentoring of students (to teach as I was taught in the USA).

More information about Philippe Buc

Fields of interest

  • Biblical exegesis
  • War and religion
  • History and the Social Sciences


I am currently working in close contact with some historians of medieval Japan on comparing the conduct, experience, and commemoration of warfare in Japan and in Europe (to 1600)

Curriculum vitae

  • BA Swarthmore College 1981
  • Maitrise es arts Paris I 1982
  • MA U.C. Berkeley 1987
  • Doctorat EHESS Paris 1989
  • Assistant, Associate, then Full Prof. Stanford University 1990-2011
  • Professor für Geschichte des Hoch- und Spätmittelalter, Universität Wien, 2011-

Key publications

  • Holy War, Martyrdom, and Terror: Christianity, Violence, and the West  (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania University Press, 2015). German translation as Heiliger Krieg (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2015); French translation, La Guerre Sainte,  in the "Bibliothèque des Histoires" (Paris: Gallimard, 2017), with a special postface; Arabic translation الحرب المقدسة، الاستشهاد والإرهاب   أشكال العنف المسيحية في الغرب (al-ḥarb al-muqaddasa. Al-istišhād wa-l-irhāb - Achkal al-onf al-Massihiya fil Gharb) with the Arab Network for Research and Publishing (Beirut, 2020), with a special preface
  • The Dangers of Ritual. Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001); French translation as Dangereux rituel (Paris, Presses Universitaires de France: 2003); Polish translation (Warsaw: 2011),  with a special postface.
  • L'ambiguïté du Livre: Prince, pouvoir, et peuple dans les commentaires de la Bible au Moyen Age, with an introduction by Jacques Le Goff (Collection Théologie historique 95), Paris: Beauchesne, 1994.

Professor Medieval History

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 1.68



  • Universität Wien Distance teaching one course per year, supervision of MA and PhDs
  • Universität Wien Direction of MAs and PhDs, Doctoral School Leitungsteam, 1 online lecture class every year
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