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University Lectureship in the Religious Traditions of Japan

Vacancy number
Function type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
19 May 2020
Closing date
15 September 2020

35 more days to apply

The Faculty of Humanities, Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) is looking for a

University Lectureship in the Religious Traditions of Japan 

Key responsibilities 
As part of the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), the Japan Studies programme is committed to the integration of disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives, on a solid foundation of excellent language skills. Likewise, the Religious Studies programme brings together expertise in specific religions with a comparative approach that draws on a variety of humanistic and social scientific disciplines. Priorities include cooperation across the full width of (East) Asian Studies and Religious Studies. The local research environment includes an excellent library, and is further enhanced by research networks and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), as well as the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Religion (LUCSoR), and Leiden Asia Centre (LeidenAsiaCentre). The key responsibilities are: 

  • Original research involving primary sources and fieldwork as appropriate;
  • Teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels, in lecture and seminar formats, including the supervision of BA and MA theses;
  • Teaching in various teaching programmes of the Faculty, including BA Japan Studies, BA Religious Studies, BA International Studies, MA Religious Studies, MA Asian Studies;
  • Supervision of PhD research;
  • A commitment to the acquisition of research funding from outside sources;
  • Administrative duties, commensurate with career stage;
  • Representation of the field to external audiences and media.

Selection criteria

  • A PhD degree in a relevant field. Candidates near completion of the degree will be considered;
  • Specialist expertise in the religious traditions of Japan, ideally with proven affinity with pre-modern sources. A research and publication record that is commensurate with career stage;
  • The ability to teach and to supervise written work in Japanese religious traditions at the BA, MA, and PhD levels; the ability to teach and supervise written work on modern and contemporary topics related to the field at the BA level;
  • The ability, certainly in teaching and preferably in research, to engage with wider contexts concerning religious traditions, and to position the study of Japanese religious traditions in transnational configurations;
  • An excellent command of classical Japanese and of modern Japanese. Proficiency in other East Asian languages is an advantage;
  • An interest in linking the study of Japanese religious traditions to contemporary, comparative, and theoretical issues in the study of religion;
  • Research experience in Japan, and familiarity with modern and contemporary cultural developments in the region;
  • Commitment to high-quality teaching practice, wide teaching scope in terms of content and audiences (e.g. students majoring in Japanese Studies, Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and International Studies; students in other fields taking cross-listed electives; etc.);
  • Affinity with area studies, and the ability to work from interdisciplinary, transnational, and comparative perspectives;
  • A willingness to help develop research and teaching involving Leiden University’s Japan-related collections. Commitment to the acquisition of research funding from national and international funding bodies;
  • Administrative abilities, as measured against career stage;
  • An excellent command of English. The majority of the MA programmes at Leiden University are taught in English, and staff members who have a better command of English than of Dutch may teach in English in BA programmes as well. (If the lecturer is not Dutch-speaking, s/he is expected to acquire a good command of Dutch within two years from taking up duty. LIAS will make resources available to this end.)

Our organisation
The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 995, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 7,000 students based at locations in Leiden and in The Hague.

The University Lecturer will hold a position in the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. LIAS is comprised of a School of Asian Studies, a School of Middle-Eastern Studies and a centre for Religious Studies, with international staff and student populations. The institute is committed to a present-day vision of area studies, integrating disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives on a solid foundation of excellent language skills. Current staff in LIAS has expertise in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Art Studies, Buddhist Studies, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Language Pedagogy, Law, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Material Culture Studies, Performance Studies, Philology, Philosophy, Political Economy, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Visual Culture Studies. 

Terms and conditions
We offer a parttime
, for 0.8 FTE per week, fixed-term position from January 2021 through December 2022, with the possibility of renewal based on need, funding and performance. Salary range, depending on education and work experience,  from  3,637 to 5,656 (pay scale 11 to 12 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) gross per month, based on a full-time appointment. The University Lecturer may start at the appropriate step in scale 10 until s/he fully meets the requirements for scale 11 as specified by the Faculty of Humanities, particularly with regard to teaching skills certification and the number of years of relevant work experience.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More information can be found at our website.

Leiden University requires teaching staff to obtain the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). If the successful applicant does not already
 possess this qualification or its equivalent, he/ she must be willing to obtain this Qualification within two years.

Leiden University
 is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to Ivo Smits, Professor Arts and Cultures of Japan, e-mail i.b.smits@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Please submit online your application
 no later than 15 September 2020 via the blue button in our application system.  Applications should be in English. Please ensure that you include in one single PDF document named ‘FAMILY NAME – Given Name – Vacancy Number' and in this order: 

  • A letter of motivation including a personal vision of Japan Studies and Religious Studies;
  • A CV including education and employment history, publications and courses taught;
  • A research agenda with clear potential for applications to funding bodies such as NWO and ERC (max. 2 pages);
  • A statement of teaching philosophy (max. 1 page);
  • Two sample course descriptions;
  • Teaching evaluations;
  • Names, positions and email addresses of three referees (letters not requested at this stage). 

The interviews with shortlisted candidates are tentatively scheduled for October 2020.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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