Dr. J. (Juan) Wu

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Buddhist Studies

Fields of Interest

My research and teaching interests include:

  • Indian religious narratives and their significance for our understanding of the past

  • Buddhist and Jaina ethics, cosmology and soteriology

  • Buddhist and Jaina monastic practices and ideals

  • Ideas and ideals of kingship in Asian religions

  • Buddhist scriptural traditions in Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, China and Tibet

  • Production, transmission and reception of early Chinese Buddhist translations


I am a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation / American Council of Learned Society Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies (2015-2017). During my stay at LIAS, I have been working on a project titled “Royals across Religious Boundaries: A Comparative Study of Stories of Shared Royal Personages in Indian Buddhism and Jainism”. This project compares Buddhist and Jaina narrative traditions of a number of royal characters. Its purpose is to explore the fluidity of their identities across Buddhism and Jainism, and the diverse ways in which monastic storytellers used these characters to convey their own religious values (a summary of the project proposal is available at "http://www.acls.org/").


  • 2008-2012: PhD in Buddhist Studies, Cardiff University (PhD thesis: “From Perdition to Awakening: A Study of Legends of the Salvation of the Patricide Ajātaśatru in Indian Buddhism”)

  • 2005-2007: M.A in Buddhist Studies, Peking University

  • 2001-2004: B.A. in Chinese Historical Linguistics, Fudan University

Academic Positions

  • July 2015 – June 2017: Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation / American Council of Learned Societies Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies, LIAS, Leiden

  • January – June 2015: Jan Gonda Indology Fellow, International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden
  • October 2012 – December 2014: JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, University of Tokyo

Teaching Experience

  • Fall 2015: Instructor of “Elementary Pāli” (undergraduate elective course) at Leiden University

  • Spring 2016: Instructor of “Sacred Biography in Buddhism and Jainism” (undergraduate elective course) at Leiden University

Fellowships & Grants

  • 2015 – 2017: Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, administrated by American Council of Learned Societies 

  • 2015 (January – June): Jan Gonda Indology Fellowship, KNAW
  • 2012 – 2014: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2008 – 2012: UK-China Doctoral Scholarship for Excellence Program
  • 2016: Dharma Drum Research Grants of the Humanities and Social Sciences (postgraduate bursary)

Selected Publications

  • 2015. “Comparing Buddhist and Jaina Attitudes towards Warfare: Some Notes on Buddhist and Jaina Stories of King Ajātaśatru’s/Kūṇika’s War against the Vṛjis.” Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology at Soka University 18: 95-112. Tokyo: IRIAB.

  • 2014a. “Violence, Virtue and Spiritual Liberation: A Preliminary Survey of Buddhist and Jaina Stories of Future Rebirths of Śreṇika Bimbisāra and Kūṇika Ajātaśatru.” Religions of South Asia 8/2: 149-179. London: Equinox Publishing.
  • 2014b. “Stories of King Bimbisāra and His Son Ajātaśatru in the Cīvara-vastu of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya and Some Śvetāmbara Jaina Texts.” Indo Tetsugaku Bukkyōgaku Kenkyū インド哲学仏教学研究 / Studies in Indian Philosophy and Buddhism 21: 19-47. Tokyo: University of Tokyo.
  • 2014c. “The Story of the Previous Life of Ajātaśatru/Kūnika in Buddhist and Śvetāmbara Jaina Texts.” Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies 62/3: 109-114.
  • 2014d. Review of Michael Radich’s Book How Ajātaśatru Was Reformed: The Domestication of “Ajase” and Stories in Buddhist History. International Journal of Asian Studies 11/2: 213-216. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Forthcoming. “Some Notes on the Sanskrit Fragments of the Ajātaśatrukaukṛtya-vinodana and Their Extant Parallels.” In Max Deeg (ed.), Religions and Religious Texts on the Silk Road. 42 pages in press. Lumbini: Lumbini Research Institute.

A full list of publications is available at https://leidenuni.academia.edu/JuanWU.

Last Modified: 11-12-2015