Erik J. Hammerstrom 韩光

Associate Professor of East Asian and Comparative Religions

Erik Hammerstrom
Hauge Administration Building - Room 227-H
9:00 am - 10:30 am
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
9:00 am - 10:30 am
  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Interim Program Director, PLU China Gateway


  • Ph.D., Religious Studies, Indiana University, 2010
  • M.A., Religion (Asian), University of Hawai'i, 2003
  • B.A., Sarah Lawrence College, 1997

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Korean and East Asian Religions
  • Early modern Chinese Buddhism


  • The Science of Chinese Buddhism: Early Twentieth - Century Engagements, (Columbia University Press, Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies, 2015) : View Book

Selected Presentations

  • Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Pacific Northwest Region, "Assembled in Sukh ā vat ī : Orientalism as Cultural Memory in the Teaching of Pure Land Buddhism in the Undergraduate Classroom", Marylhurst University (March 27-29, 2015)
  • Tacoma Buddhist Temple, “Buddhism in China/Tibet Today”, Tacoma, WA (March 22, 2015)
  • Invited Talk, “Science and Modern Taxonomies of Knowledge in Chinese Buddhism”, Duke University (February 20, 2015)
  • Guest lecture for Professor Zhou Yi’s class: Traditional Chinese Culture, “The Western Concept of Religion Arrives in China”, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China (October 24, 2014)
  • Part of the lecture series “Buddhism in Dialogue: Lessons from the Past, Directions for the Future”, “Buddhism and Science”, Tacoma Buddhist Temple (June 7, 2014)


Erik Hammerstrom teaches about religion in China and East Asia, with a focus on Buddhism. In his research he specializes in the intellectual and institutional history of Chinese Buddhism during the modern period. He has studied Buddhist responses to elements of modernity, such as the discourses surrounding both religion and modern science; and is now working on a “biography” of the Huáyán 華嚴 school of Chinese Buddhism in the twentieth century.

His first book, _The Science of Chinese Buddhism: Early Twentieth-Century Engagements_, was published in August 2015 by Columbia University Press. He has published articles in the Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 中華佛學學報, Nova Religio, Theology and Science, and the Journal of Chinese Religion. He helped establish the Database of Modern Chinese Buddhism, which he continues to co-edit.