I am Assistant Professor of Religion in Asia, Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia, and member of the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen, at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
I hold a BA and MA in East Asian Studies (Chinese language and culture as major; Hindi and religions in India as minor) from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, and a PhD in the Study of Religions from the School of Oriental and African Studies, UK.
I have extensive fieldwork experience within several Buddhist communities in East Asia, and I have been visiting scholar at the Center for Chinese Studies of the National Central Library, and at the Institute of History and Philology of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. I have previously taught at the University of London (SOAS and Goldsmiths College), University of Missouri, University of Saskatchewan, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Manchester.
My interdisciplinary research combines my training in Chinese Studies and the Study of Religion, and addresses different forms and levels of engagement between religion – especially Buddhism – and modernity in the Chinese context(s). I aim to interpret Chinese culture through local religious practices, and at the same time to articulate a new definition of religion as within the East Asian context.