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Department of Religions and Philosophies

Dr Vincent Tournier

PhD (Paris)


Vincent Tournier
Department of Religions and Philosophies

Seiyu Kiriyama Lecturer in Buddhist Studies

Centre of Jaina Studies

Member, Centre of Jaina Studies

Centre of Buddhist Studies


SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Dr Vincent Tournier
Email address:
020 7898 4753
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Mondays 1-3pm or by email appointment


Vincent Tournier studied History and Anthropology at the University of Strasbourg, and Buddhist Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, where he obtained his PhD. Before joining SOAS, he worked as a research fellow at the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Tokyo), at the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden), and as Post-doctoral researcher at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies.


Programmes Convened
Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Meng Wang, The Life of the Sixteenth Karmapa and His Role in the Tibetan Buddhist Transmission to North America and Unitied Kingdom
  • Roberta Ginleiz Gattodoro, The Transmission of the Puṇyavanta- Jātaka, A Sanskrit Buddhist text handed down into Chinese, Tocharian and Tibetan.


Vincent Tournier’s main field of interest is the history of Buddhism in Ancient and Early Medieval South Asia. His research includes investigations of models and figures of human perfection; the history of Buddhist schools, lineages, and centres; the processes of scriptural formation and authentication; narrative representations of the past; Buddhist cosmology; and monastic life and regulations.

Employing philological and historical methods, he works with a wide range of texts, from literary compositions to scholastic treatises, employing manuscripts and epigraphical materials from the Indian subcontinent (including present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan), Sri Lanka, and Nepal.


Book Chapters

Tournier, Vincent (2012) 'Matériaux pour une histoire de la légende et du culte de Mahākāśyapa: une relecture d’un fragment inscrit retrouvé à Silao (Bihār).' In: Autour de Bāmiyān. De la Bactriane hellénisée à l'Inde bouddhique. Paris: De Boccard, pp. 375-413.


Tournier, Vincent (2014) 'Mahākāśyapa, His Lineage, and the Wish for Buddhahood: Reading Anew the Bodhgayā Inscriptions of Mahānāman.' Indo-Iranian Journal, 57 (1-2). pp. 1-60.

Tournier, Vincent (2012) 'The Mahāvastu and the Vinayapiṭaka of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādins.' Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology , 15 . pp. 87-104.

This list was generated on Tue Oct 13 00:33:47 2015 BST.