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Department of the Study of Religions

PhD Students

More information on the department’s PhD programme.

Recently Awarded PhDs

  • Hee Won Kim United Progressive Alliance (2004-14), equality of opportunity and Muslims: a paradigm shift or political pragmatism? (Prof. G. Singh)


  • Barakatullo Ashurov Tarsakya: an analysis of Sogdian Christianity based on Archaeological, Numismatic, Epigraphic and Textual Sources (Dr E. Hunter)
  • Afework Hailu Beyene The Shaping of Judaic Identity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahado Church: historical and literary evidence (Dr E. Hunter)
  • Samantha Anne Langsdale Damaged Bodies: Women's Agency in Trecento Florentine Soteriological Discourses (Dr S. Hawthorne)
  • Shinya Mano Yosai and the Transformation of Buddhist Precepts in Pre-modern Japan (Dr L. Dolce)
  • Rastin Mehri The Zoroastrian Community in British Columbia (Prof. A. Hintze)
  • Niranjan Saha Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta according to Madhusudana Sarasvati's Gudharthadipika (Dr T. Proferes)
  • Jennifer Ai-Ming Ung Loh  Why vote for a fake kinnar when you can vote for a real one?' Representation and Political Identity among Kinnars in Madhya Pradesh, India (Dr S. Hawthorne)
  • Arash Zeini The Pahlavi version of the Yasna Haptanhaiti (Prof. A. Hintze)


  • Aristotle Cha Dy Marginal Buddhists: Religion and Identity of a Chinese Minority in the Philippines (Dr A. Palumbo)
  • Ahmet Riza Emitoglu The Exploration of the Idea of Cosmological Process through the Comparison between Ibn Sina and Abhinavagupta (Dr J-P Hartung)
  • Jennifer Langer Exile from Exile: The Representation of Cultural Memory in Literary Texts by Exiled Iranian Jewish Women (Dr S. Hawthorne)
  • Ahmet Riza Emiroglu The Exploration of the Idea of Emanation through the Comparison between the Islamic and Indian Philosophies with Special Reference to Ibn Sīnā and Abhinavagupta.


  • Akil Nisar Awan Conversion to Islam in Contemporary Britain: Motivations, Processes and Consequences ( Prof. B Bocking; Prof. C Hezser)
  • Leon Goldman Rasn Yast. The Avestan hymn to ' Justice'. Text, Translation and Commentary (Prof. A Hintze)
  • James Kimball The Soteriological Role of the Rsi Kapila in the Yuktidipika: the Production and Transmission of Liberating Knowledge in Classical Samkhya ( Prof. T Proferes)
  • Kigen-San Licha The Imperfectible Body: Esoteric Transmissions in Medieval Soto Zen Buddhism (Dr L Dolce)
  • Anna Munster The Changing Face of Islam in Post-Soviet Ukraine: A Study of Arraid in the Light of  Social Movement Theory (Dr K Zebiri)
  • Gregory Deacon The socio-economic role of Pentecostal Churches in Kibera, Nairobi (Prof  Gifford)
  • Lewis Doney Transforming Tibetan Kingship: The portrayal of Khri Srong lde brtsan in the early Buddhist Histories (Dr Ulrich Pagel)
  • Gwendolyn Heaner Destroying the Destroyer of Your Destiny: the Role(s) of Pentecostalism in Post-War Liberia (Prof  Gifford)
  • Satomi Horiuchi Expressing Emotions: Practices of Caring for the Dead in Contemporary Japanese Christianity (Dr L Dolce)
  • Fumi Ouchi The Somatic Nature of Enlightenment: Vocal Arts in the Japanese Tendai Tradition (Dr L Dolce)
  • Benedetta Lomi The Precious Steed of the Buddhist Pantheon: Ritual, Faith and Images of Bato Kannon in Japan (Dr L Dolce)
  • Ligeia Lugli The Conception of Language in Early Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism - With Special Reference to the Laṅkāvatārasūtra (Dr U Pagel)
  • Masaaki Okada Nature in the Healing and Farming Practices of Okada Mokichi of Sekai Kyusei Kyo (Dr L Dolce)
  • Rupinder Kaur Pamme The Pilgrimage To Takht Hazur Sahib and its Place in the Sikh Tradition (Prof  Shackle)
  • Valerie Rylance Lesbian Buddhism? (Prof Bocking)
  • Emily Welty Faith-based NGOs, Peacebuilding and Development: the Mennonite Central Committee's work in East Africa (Prof  Gifford)


  • William Henry Taylor Narratives of Identity: the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of England 1895-1914. (Dr  Hunter)
  • David Edward Azzopardi Religious Belief and Practice Among Sri Lankan Buddhists in the Uk (Dr K Crosby)
  • Kuan Guang Wutai Shan During the Ming Dynasty (Prof  Barrett)
  • Stefania Travagnin The Madhyamika Dimensions of Yin Shun: A Restatement of the School of Nagarjuna in 20Th Century Chinese Buddhism (Prof  Bocking)
  • Robert William James Wilfred Cantwell Smith's theory of Scripture Related To the Use of the Bible in African Anglicanism (Prof  Gifford)
  • Christine Bodewes Civil Society in Africa: the Role of A Catholic Parish in A Kenyan Slum (Prof  Gifford)
  • Christopher Allen Daily From Gosport To Canton: A New Approach To Robert Morrison and the Beginnings of Protestant Missions in China. (Prof  Barrett)
  • Karel Peter Leonard Gerard Kersten Occupants of the Third Space: New Muslim intellectuals and the Study of Islam (Hasan Hanafi, Mohammed Arkoun, Murchilish Madjid). (Prof  Shackle)
  • Uranchimeg Borjigin Ujeed Indigenous Efforts and Dimensions of Mongolian Buddhism - Exemplified By the Mergen Tradition (Dr T Skorupski)
  • Hasan Ali Khan Shia-Ismaili Motifs in the Sufi Architecture of the indus Valley 1200 - 1500 (Prof  Shackle)
  • James Alexander Kapalo Text, Context, Performance: the Lay institutions of Gagauz Orthodoxy (Prof Gifford)
  • Catherine Sarah Newell Monks, Meditation and Missing Links: Continuity, "Orthodoxy" and the Vijja Dhammakaya in Thai Buddhism. (Dr K Crosby)
  • Katherine Louise Wharton Philosophy As A Practice of Freedom in Ancient india and Ancient Greece (Dr T Proferes)
  • Adil Hussain Khan Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the Construction of the Ahmadiyya Identity. (Prof  Shackle)


  • Joanna Elizabeth Marie Sadgrove The Condom Culture Is Not the Kingdom Culture': Dissonant Discourses & Secret Sex Amongst Born-Again University Students in Uganda (Prof  Gifford)
  • Gianpaolo Vetturini The Bka' Gdams Pa School of Tibetan Buddhism (Dr T Skorupski)
  • Sian Melvill Hawthorne Origins, Genealogies and the Politics of Mythmaking: Towards A Feminist Philosophy of Myth (Prof  Gifford)
  • Eamon Francis Adams Towards the Reform of Korean Buddhism During the Japanese Colonial Period, 1910-1935 (Prof  Bocking)


  • Hugh James Osgood African Neo-Pentecostal Churches and British Evangelicalism 1985-2005; Balancing Principles and Practicalities (Prof  Gifford)
  • Ho Young Lee Dai Zhen's Philosophy of  Ethical Human Being (Prof  Barrett)
  • Ornella Corazza Consciousness and Place': the Phenomenology of the Near-Death Experience (Nde) and Similar States induced By Dissociative Anaesthesia (Dr C Zene)
  • Annette Benaim Judeo-Spanish Testimonies in 16th-Century Responsa (Dr  Stern)
  • Felix Jere Phiri Local Muslim Associations As A Contemporary Way of Isla,Mization in Zambia (Prof  Gifford)
  • Jane Elizabeth Clifford Gender, Social Change and Spiritual Power: A Study of Charismatic Christianity in Accra, Ghana (Prof  Gifford)
  • Sharmina Mawani The Construction of Identities Amongst Young Adult Nizari Ismailis in Toronto and Mumbai (Prof  Shackle)
  • Oliver Paul Scharbrodt Reconciling Religious Dissidence in Early Baha'Ism and in the Salafiyya: A Comparative Study of 'Abdul-Baha  'Abbas (1844-1921) and Muhammad 'Abduh (1849-1905) (Prof Shackle)
  • Abdollah Guivian Religion, Television and Culture in Post-Revolutionary Iran (Dr C Zene)
  • Vena Radha Ramphal A Word On Movement: Thinking Approaches To the Dancing  Body (Dr C Zene)
  • Matthew Muriuki Karangi The Sacred Mugumo Tree: Revisiting the Roots of Gikuyu Cosmology and Worship. A Case Study of the Gicugu Gikuyu of Kirinyaga District in Kenya (Dr C Zene)
  • Chengzhong Pu Kindness Towards Animals in Early Chinese Buddhism (Prof  Barrett)
  • Anastasia Karaflogka Religious Discourse and Cyberspace (Prof  Bocking)
  • Chi Ho Ivan Hon Chinese intellectuals' Reconstruction of Confucianism in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century China (Prof  Bocking)
  • Senevi Aturupana Saddha: An Analytical Study of its Role in  theravada Buddhism (Dr T Skorupski)
  • Jonah Avriel Cohen Religious Appreciation and the Mundane-Sacred: A Neglected Area of Philosophy (Dr C Zene)
  • Elena Moreddu Sacred Places in Sardinia - Cumbessias Villages, Sacredness, and the Dialectic of the Work of Art (Dr C Zene)
  • Ci Yuan The Bodhisativa Ideal in Selected Buddhist Scriptures (its theoretical and Practical Evolution) (Dr T Skorupski)
  • Fang-Long Shih Dead Maidens in Taiwan: Breaking Down Chinese Religious Tradition (Dr C Zene)
  • Susan Elizabeth Prill The Sant Tradition and Community formation in the Works of Guru Nanak and Dadu Dayal (Prof  Shackle)
Thomas Alberts
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Indigenous Modernity: Shamanism, Discourse and the Study of Religions

Husam Almallak
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Post-Secular Islamic Religiosity: A Nietzschean Reading of Ibn ‘Arabi’s Hermeneutics of Transvaluation

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Barakatullo Ashurov
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Tarsākyā: an analysis of Sogdian Christianity based on Archaeological, Numismatic, Epigraphic and Textual Sources.

Alexandra Buhler
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The role played by Zoroastrians during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1905-1911.

Hannah Bartos
Hannah Bartos (née Jenkin)

Organizing Transnational Yoga in the UK & India: Institutionalization, Globalization & Complexity.

Adam Benkato
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The Manichaean-Sogdian Parable Book. Text Edition and Literary Analysis.

Afework Hailu Beyene
Afework Beyene

The Shaping of Judaic Identity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church: Historical and Literary Evidence

Serena Biondo
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The life and Teachings of the 10th-century Tibetan Master A ro Ye shes ‘Byung gnas"

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Jessica Bloom
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Naming in the Hebrew Bible.

Graham Burns
Graham Burns

Neti neti - the Search for the Ultimate Principle in the Vedic Upanisads

David Cohen
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Abrabanel’s Commentary on the Biblical Book of Genesis: Selected Translation and Stylistic Analysis.

Jacqueline Daukes
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Women in the Varkari Sampradaya

Aristotle Dy
Aristotle Dy

Marginal Buddhists: Religion, Social Work, and Cultural Identity of the Chinese in the Philippines

Ahmet Riza Emiroglu
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The Exploration of the Idea of Emanation through the Comparison between the Islamic and Indian Philosophies with Special Reference to Ibn Sīnā and Abhinavagupta.

Nazneen Engineer
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Intermarriage and Conversion in Zoroastrianism.

Federico Filippi
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The Ontological Positions of the Buddha in the discourses of the Pali Nikayas.

Alaya Forte
Alaya Forte

New forms of political inclusion or mere tokenism? Reading political representation from a gender and minority perspective in British and French government (working title)

Richard Godwin
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Late Sassanian Persia, the Culture of the Church of the East and Tang Imperial Patronage.

Leon Goldman
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The Avestan Hymn to Rashnu.

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Jennifer Griggs
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Syrian Orthodox Barhebraeus in Dialogue with Islam: Understanding the ‘Love of God’ and the Hermeneutics of Mysticism.

Eleanor Tiplady Higgs
Eleanor Tiplady Higgs

Emphasising Christianity: The Young Women's Christian Association in Kenya

Satomi Horiuchi
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Contemporary Japanese Christianity: Ancestors, rites and graves

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Prabhjap Singh Jutla
Prabhjap Singh Jutla

Hindutva and the Construction of Sikh Identity: A Political and Intellectual History, c. 1877-2004.

Masato Kato
Masato Kato

Japanese New Religious Movements in the UK: The Negotiation between Nationalism and Universalism.

Mehrbod Khanizadeh
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The Avesta and Pahlavi versions of the Hōm Yašt

Heewon Kim
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United Progressive Alliance (2004-14), equality of opportunity and Muslims: a paradigm shift or political pragmatism?

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Sinae Kim
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Buddhist Scripture and Oral Performance in Medieval China: A Study on the Dunhuang Manuscripts of the “Sūtra Lecture Text on the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra” (Weimojiejing jiangjingwen 維摩詰經講經文)

Man Shik Kong
Man Shik Kong

A Study of Attitude to Food in Canonical and Commentarial Texts of Theravada Buddhism.

Malgorzata Kruszewska
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Sarasvati – Indian goddess of articulation. A textual and fieldwork study.

Pyi Kyaw
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A Living Tradition of Paṭṭhāna: A Study of the Roles of The Conditional Relations (Paṭṭhāna) in the context of Contemporary Burmese Buddhism.

Samantha Langsdale
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Damaged Bodies: Gendering Identity in Religious Discourse.

Ralph Lee
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Symbolic Interpretations in Ethiopic and Ephremic Literature

Kigensan Licha
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The Esoterization of Soto Zen in Medieval Japan

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Karen Liljenberg
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A Critical Study of the "Thirteen Later Translations" of the Dzogchen Mind Series

Hung-Chih Lo
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Chinese Religious Dress, 5th-9th Centuries CE

Jennifer Loh
Jennifer Loh

Exploring the Construction of 'Political' Identity Among the Kinnars of Madhya Pradesh, India. 

Yaara Morris
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The Cult of Tenkawa Benzaiten – her rituals, texts, and mandalas.

Alexandra Magub
Alexandra Magub

Political and Religious Ideologies on Parthian Coins from the 2nd and 1st Centuries BC

Shinya Mano
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Yôsai and the development of Zen-Esoteric Buddhism.

Kavita Maya
Kavita Maya

The Politics of British Goddess Spirituality: a feminist and critical race analysis (Working Title)

Rastin Mehri
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The Zoroastrians in British Columbia.

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Farah Mihlar
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Fundamentalisms amongst the Muslims of Sri Lanka.

Neda Mohtashami
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Edition of the Pahlavi version of the Yasna (chapters 0-8)

Elizabeth Munro
Elizabeth Munro

‘The dusky hordes that swarmed’: Exposing the (mis)representation of Muslims and Islamic Religious Practice in the English Charlemagne Romance Cycle and the Petronivs Redivivvs, stories VII and VIII, from the Analecta Dvblinensia.

Bhikkhu Nagasena
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The significance of the Sima (Buddhist Monastic Boundary) in Burmese Theravada: Authority and Practice

Janine Nicol
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Daoxuan and the Shijia fangzhi: The Creation of a Buddhist Sacred Geography of China.

Karen O'Brien-Kop
Karen O'Brien-Kop

The non-Brahmanical elements in the Pātañjalayogaśāstra, focussing on soteriological and metaphysical influences from Buddhism and Jainism.

S. Jonathon O'Donnell
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Owning the Future: Sovereignty and Demonology in an Age of Terror

Masaaki Okada
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Nature in the Healing and Farming Practices of Okada Mokichi of Sekai Kyusei Kyo

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Payal Patel
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Female Subjectivity and Contemporary Yoga Practice

Sayam Patthranuprawat
Sayam Patthranuprawat


Adam Pearcey
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The Great Perfection (Rdzogs chen) according to Rdo grub chen ‘Jigs med bstan pa’i nyi ma (1865-1926), his Collaborators & Disciples

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Samani Pratibha Pragya
Samani Pragya

Prekṣā Dhyāna: History and Practice

Zara Ramsay
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Religion, Gender and Development: Women’s Empowerment in South India

Naomi Richman
Naomi Richman

Gender and Sexuality in Born-Again Nigeria

Susan Roach
Sue Roach

‘The Qualities of the Purified’: attitudes towards asceticism in the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya

Valerie Rylance
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Lesbian Buddhism

Niranjan Saha
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Philosophy of Advaita as Presented in the Gitagudharthadipika of Madhusudana Sarsavti

Shi Longdu
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Buddhism and the State in Medieval China: A Case Study of Three Persecutions of Buddhism in Chinese History, 446-845

Euikang Sohn
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Kingship in Ancient India as described in the Kṣudraka-vastu of Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya

Thomas Staniforth
Thomas Staniforth

Movements of the Thunderbolt: 'Cham Choreography and Transmission in the Himalayan Region.

Kazumi Taguchi
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Beyond Tokugawa Confucianism: Soseki and Neo-Edo taste in the Meiji Bun'jin Community

Dorothy Tembo
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Missions, Colonialism and Christian Identity in Malawi

Meng Wang
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The Life of the Sixteenth Karmapa and His Role in the Tibetan Buddhist Transmission to North America and Unitied Kingdom

George Warner
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Representations of Precedent in Early Shi'i Literature.

Arash Zeini
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The Pahlavi Version of the Yasna Haptanghāiti.