Prof. dr. P.C. (Peter) Bisschop

  • Professor
  • Sanskrit and Ancient Cultures of South Asia

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2980
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, SAS India en Tibet
Office Address: Witte Singel-complex
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 0.04a


Peter Bisschop's research is concerned with the historical development and spread of classical Hinduism, in particular Śaivism, through philological study of Sanskrit texts. He is particularly interested in the composition and transmission of the anonymous Purāṇa literature, and the historical, religious and social contexts of Purāṇic mythology. He is a member of the international research team preparing a critical edition of the Skandapurāṇa. He also studies other forms of Sanskrit literature such as Kāvya, Śāstra and Tantra, and specializes in sacred topography.


  • 1993-1998: MA Philosophy and Indology at the University of Groningen.
  • 2000-2004: Research Assistant at the University of Groningen. PhD Early Saivism and the Skandapurara: Sects and Centres.
  • 2004-2005: Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford.
  • 2005-2010: Lecturer in Sanskrit Studies, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2010: Professor in Sanskrit and Ancient Cultures of South Asia, Leiden University.


  • BA and MA courses Sanskrit. 
  • BA courses on the history and culture of South Asia.

Selected Publications

  • Once Again on the Identity of Caṇḍeśvara in Early Śaivism: A rare Caṇḍeśvara in  the British Museum? Indo-Iranian Journal, 53.3 (2010), pp. 233-249.

  • Śaivism in the Gupta-Vākāṭaka Age. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 20.4 (2010), pp. 477-488.

  • Śiva. In: Jacobsen, K.A. (Ed.), Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Volume 1: Regions, Pilgrimage, Deities. Leiden: Brill, 2009, pp. 741-754.

  • The description of Śivapura in the early Vāyu- and Skandapurāṇa. In: Goodall, D. & Padoux, A. (Eds.), Mélanges tantriques à la mémoire d'Hélène Brunner. Pondicherry: Collection Indologie, 2007, pp. 49-72.

  • Early Śaivism and the Skandapurāṇa: Sects and Centres. (Groningen Oriental Studies, XXI). Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 2006.

  • The Sūtrapāṭha of the Pāśupatasūtra. Indo-Iranian Journal, 49 (2006), pp. 1-21.

  • Pañcārthabhāṣya on Pāśupatasūtra 1.37-39. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 33 (2005), pp. 529-551.

Ancillary positions

  • Editor-in-Chief of Indo-Iranian Journal

  • Editor-in-Chief of the Gonda Indological Studies

Last Modified: 11-12-2015