Department of History of Art and Archaeology & School of Arts

Dr Christian Luczanits

Key information

Department of History of Art and Archaeology David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art School of Arts Department Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing Convenor Member, Tibetan Studies Group Centre of Buddhist Studies Committee Member Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme Research and Publications Sub-board Member
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
020 7898 4162
Support hours
Fridays, 10:00am–12:00pm


Christian Luczanits studied Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, Austria, with a focus on art historical subjects.

There he completed his PhD under the external supervision of the late Maurizio Taddei, Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli. Following his PhD he held research positions at the University of Vienna until 2000, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2000 to 2003, and the Lumbini International Research Institute, 2005/06. Christian Luczanits also held visiting professorships at UC Berkeley in 2004/05, at Free University in Berlin 2006–08, and at Stanford University and UC Berkeley in the first half of 2010.

While teaching in Berlin Christian Luczanits also curated the exhibition "Gandhara – the Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise" at the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn together with Michael Jansen and was responsible for its catalogue. Before joining SOAS he has been Senior Curator at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York.

Research interests

Christian Luczanits’ primary research areas are early Buddhist art during and after the Kushana period (1st to 5th centuries) and early Tibetan Buddhist art (7th to 15th centuries) within its wider context.

Specific research topics are the representations of the Bodhisattva and future Buddha Maitreya and their relationship to the development of Mahāyāna Buddhism, the development of Indian esoteric religious forms in general, the processes of adoption and adaptation of these forms in the formulation of a distinctively Tibetan Buddhism, and the competing public faces of Buddhism in Tibet.

Recent research has centred around an AHRC-funded project on “Tibetan Buddhist Monastery Collections Today”, in particular the documentation and assessment of monastery collections in Mustang, Nepal, and Ladakh, India.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Ayesha Fuentes On the use of human remains in Tibetan ritual objects
Udomluck Hoontrakul The Development of Political Economy and Social Formation of the Marginal Polities on the Salween River Basin, Northwestern Thailand During the first millennium CE to the mid-second millennium CE
Ngawang Jungney (Kai-Hsiang Lin) A History of Khön Vajrakīlaya Practice and Its Multiple Constructions (working tile)
Phyllis SY Lau-Casson Revisiting the 'Prakhon Chai' Hoard, an enigmatic group of ‘bronzes' that came to light in current-day Northeast Thailand since mid-1960s
Agneta Niklasson Tracing Visual Evidence of Esoteric Buddhism in the Sculptures of Swat, Gilgit and Kashmir in the mid-6th to the mid-9th century
Dr Lesley S Pullen
Sonetra Seng Beyond the Masterpiece: Function and Design of Divine Adornment in Angkorian Cambodia (9th-14th c.).
Ziyi Shao The Pantheon of the Emperor: Exploring the Translation and Adaptation of Tibetan Buddhist Iconographic Pantheons in Three Hundred Deities, Eulogies to the Sacred Images of the Buddhas, and Fanhualou
Mr Kulamitra David Zukas Revealing the Religious Landscape at Bhaja, Bedsa and Karle, Buddhist Rock-cut Monasteries


Contact Christian