Zhiru Ng

Professor of Religious Studies; Chair of Religious Studies; Coordinator of Asian Studies
With Pomona Since: 2000
  • Expertise

    Research Interests

    • Chinese Buddhist history and art
    • Buddhist cults with a special focus on Dizang (Jizo) Bodhisattva
    • Buddhist cross-cultural interactions
    • Interface between texts and images
    • Taiwanese Buddhist modernity 

    Areas of Expertise


    • Buddhist Studies
    • Chinese Religion
  • Work


    “From Bodily Relic to Dharma Relic Stupa: Chinese Materialization of the Asoka Legend in Tenth-century Southeast China,” in India in the Chinese Imagination, edited by John Kieschnick and Meir Shahar (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).

    "The Architectural and Religious Functions of Baoqieyin Dharani-sutra Manuscripts at Leifeng Pagoda in Tenth-Century Hangzhou," with a Japanese translation by Yamano Chieko, in Strategic Research Project of Japanese Manuscripts of Buddhist Scriptures and the International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies, eds., Manuscripts in the Kongo-ji Collection: The Bao qie yin tuoluoni jing, Bibliotheca Codicologica Nipponica VI (Tokyo:, 2013).

    "Contextualizing Buddhist Approaches to Religious Diversity: When and How Buddhist Intellectuals Address Confucianism and Daoism (3rd–9th c.)," in Religious Diversity in Chinese Thought, edited by Perry Schmidt-Leukel and Joachim Gentz (Palgrave, 2013).

    "Scriptural Authority: A Buddhist Perspective," Buddhist-Christian Studies 30: 85-105, 2010

    "Buddhist Responses to State Control of Religion in China at the Century's Turn," in Buddhist Approaches to Human Rights: Dissonances and Resonances, edited by Carmen Meinert and Hans-Bernd Zöllner (Transcript-verlag, 2010)

    The Making of a Savior Bodhisattva: Dizang in Medieval China. Kuroda Institute Studies in East Asian Buddhism Series no. 21. Published in cooperation with University of Hawai'i, 2007

    "The Maitreya Connection in Tang Development of Dizang Worship," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 65.1, 99-132, 2005

  • Education


    University of Arizona

    Master of Arts
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Bachelor of Arts
    National University of Singapore

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Life-Story of the Buddha: Art, Ritual, Text & Film
    • Religious Traditions of China
    • Religious Traditions of Japan
    • The Lotus Sutra in East Asia: A History of the Book
    • The World of Mahayana Scriptures: Art, Doctrine, & Practice
    • Tradition or Innovation? The Making of Modern Chinese Buddhism
    • Worlds of Buddhism
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    University of Heidelberg: Visiting Research Fellow, Material Textual Culture Project and Stone Buddhist Texts Project, 2012

    OWBA Foundation, Bangkok: Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award, 2010

    National University of Singapore; Asia Research Institute Visiting Senior Research Fellow, 2009–10

    Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation; Scholar Grant, 2008–09

    Graves Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2004-05

    Harvard University; Center for the Study of World Religions Senior Fellow, 2003-04

    The University of Arizona; Dean's Fellow Award, 1998