Universität Bonn

Abteilung für Mongolistik und Tibetstudien

Prof. Dr. Lewis Doney

© Lewis Doney

Prof. Dr. Lewis Doney

R. 1.029

Brühler Straße 7

53119 Bonn

  • Seit Oktober 2021 Professur Tibetologie - Universität Bonn, IOA, Abt. für Mongolistik und Tibetstudien
  • 2020–2021 Research Associate - Ruhr-Universität Bochum - Projekt: BuddhistRoad: Dynamics in Buddhist Networks in Eastern Central Asia 6th to 14th Centuries
  • 2018–2020 Associate Professor, History of Religions (Buddhism) - NTNU, Trondheim, Norwegen
  • 2017–2018 Lehrstuhlvertretung der Professur für Sprache und Kultur Zentralasiens (Schwerpunkt Tibetstudien) - Universität Bonn, IOA, Abt. für Mongolistik und Tibetstudien
  • 2015–2017 Research Assistant - British Museum - Projekt: Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State
  • 2014–2015 Research Fellow - Freie Universität Berlin - Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship
  • 2011–2015 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie - Kingship and Religion in Tibet
  • 2011 Promotion Doctor of Philosophy - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London Externer Prüfer: Prof. F-K. Ehrhard, LMU München
  • 2004 Magister Artium: Study of Religions SOAS, London
  • Geschichte des tibetischen Kulturraumes
  • Alt-tibetische Literatur und Königtum
  • Indo-tibetischer und Dunhuang Buddhismus
  • Member, Research Group on Forced Labor and Slavery in Pre-Modern South and South Asia, basiert auf der Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Korrektor und Englischexperte, The Mañjughoṣa Translation Project Leipzig (unter der Schirmherrschaft und Aufsicht des 84000; http://www.84000.co)
  • Curator, ལོ་རྒྱུས་ Digital Resources for the Study of Tibetan History, Zenodo.org
  • Advisory Board Member, Transnational Network for Theravāda Studies
  • Series Co-editor: Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State, De Gruyter Verlag, Berlin
  • Co-editor: H-Buddhism
  • Co-editor: Old Tibetan Documents Online

  • Association for Asian Studies
  • The European Association for the Study of Religion
  • International Association of Buddhist Studies
  • International Association for Tibetan Studies
  • SOAS Centre for Buddhist Studies
  • Société Européenne pour l’Etude des Civilisations de l’Himalaya et de l’Asie Centrale
  • UK Association for Buddhist Studies


  • 2014: The Zangs gling ma: The First Padmasambhava Biography. Two Exemplars of its Earliest Attested Recension. Series Monumenta Tibetica Historica, Abteilung 2 (Vitae), Band 3. Andiast: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (IITBS).

In Arbeit

  • A Study of the Tibetan Aparimitāyur-nama mahāyāna-sūtras kept in the British Library (mit Brandon Dotson, in Kooperation mit Dongzhi Duojie).


  • 2021a: Bringing Buddhism to Tibet: History and Narrative in the dBa’ bzhed Manuscript. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter. Auch online (Open Access): mailto:https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110715309/html?lang=en
  • 2021b: New Research on Old Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Panel Old Tibetan Studies VI – IATS 2019. Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, volume 60 (mit Emanuela Garatti und Quentin Devers).
  • 2018: The Past is a Foreign Country: Selected Papers from the 4th and 5th Old Tibetan Studies Panels Held at the 13th and 14th Seminars of the International Association for Tibetan Studies. Central Asiatic Journal, volume 61.1 (als Hauptredaktor mit Quentin Devers und Emanuela Garatti).
  • 2016: Ancient Currents, New Traditions: Papers Presented at the Fourth International Seminar of Young Tibetologists. Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 37 (mit Franz-Xaver Erhard, Jeannine Bischoff, Joerg Heimbel und Emilia Sulek).

In Arbeit

  • 2022a: Buddhism in Central Asia III: Doctrines, and the Impacts of Non-Buddhist Influences. Leiden: Brill (mit Carmen Meinert, Yukiyo Kasai und Henrik H. Sørensen).
  • 2022b: The Buddhist Road: Major Themes in Central Asian Buddhism I, Leiden: Brill (mit der BuddhistRoad Gruppe).


  • 2021: "Text, Act and Subject: A Proposed Approach to the Future Study of Old Tibetan Prayer." Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 60, 49–83.
  • 2020: "A Yak, Na rak and Potalaka: Folios of the So-Called “Gyalpo Kachem” in US Museum Collections." Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 55, 79–120.
  • 2019: "The Degraded Emperor: Theoretical Reflections on the Upstaging of a Bodhisattva King." Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 49, 13–66.
  • 2018a: "Imperial Gods: A Ninth-Century Tridaṇḍaka Prayer (rGyud chags gsum) from Dunhuang." Central Asiatic Journal 61.1, 71–101.
  • 2018b: "Revelation and Re-evaluation: The Flourishing of Padmasambhava Biography after Yuan Mongol Decline." European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 52, 46–70.
  • 2017a: "The Glorification of Eighth-Century Imperial Law in Early Tibetan Buddhist Historiography." Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 26, 1–20.
  • 2016: "A Richness of Detail: Sangs rgyas gling pa and the Padma bka’ thang." Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 37, 69–97.
  • 2015: "Early Bodhisattva-Kingship in Tibet: The Case of Tri Sondétsen." Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 24, 29–47.
  • 2013a: "Nyang ral Nyi ma ’od zer and the Testimony of Ba." Bulletin of Tibetology 49.1, 7– 38.
  • 2013b: "Emperor, Dharmaraja, Bodhisattva? Inscriptions from the Reign of Khri Srong lde brtsan." Journal of Research Institute, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies 51, 63–84.
  • 2009: "The Prayer, the Priest and the Tsenpo: An Early Buddhist Narrative from Dunhuang." Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 30.1–2, 175–217 (mit Sam van Schaik).


  • 2021a: "History, Identity and Religious Dynamics in the Portrayal of Khri Srong lde btsan." In: Doney, Lewis (Hrsg.), Bringing Buddhism to Tibet: History and Narrative in the dBa’ bzhed Manuscript. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • 2021b: "The Testimony of Ba: Literature and Exemplars." In: Doney, Lewis (Hrsg.), Bringing Buddhism to Tibet: History and Narrative in the dBa’ bzhed Manuscript. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • 2021c: "Preface." In: Doney, Lewis (Hrsg.), Bringing Buddhism to Tibet: History and Narrative in the dBa’ bzhed Manuscript. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • 2020a: "Temple Bells from the Tibetan Imperial Period: Buddhist Material Culture in Context." In: Cecil, Elizabeth & Lucas den Boer (eds.), Framing Intellectual and Lived Spaces in Early South Asia: Papers from the Seventh Leiden Asian Studies Symposium. Berlin: De Gruyter, 105–42.
  • 2020b: "Tibet. [die Auswirkungen der tibetischen imperialen Expansion im 7. und 8. Jahrhundert.] " In: Hermans, Erik (Hrsg.), A Companion to the Global Early Middle Ages. Leeds: Arc Humanities, 191–223.
  • 2020c: "A Note on the Canonical Attribution of Treasure Texts: Ratna gling pa and the Zangs gling ma." In: Bischoff, Jeannine, Petra Maurer & Charles Ramble (eds.), On a Day of a Month of the Fire Bird Year: Festschrift for Peter Schwieger on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute, 195–212.
  • 2020d: "The Lotus-Born in Nepal: A Dunhuang Narrative and the Later Biographical Tradition." In: Samuel, Geoffrey & Jamyang Oliphant of Rossie (eds.), About Padmasambhava: Historical Narrative and Later Transformation of Guru Rinpoche. Schongau, Switzerland: Garuda Verlag, 97–118.
  • 2019a: "Padmasambhava in Tibetan Buddhism." In: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Leiden: Brill, 1197–1212.
  • 2019b: "Life and Devotion: The Biography of Padmasambhava in Two Works of A mes zhabs." In: Caumanns, Volker, Marta Sernesi & Nikolai Solmsdorf (eds.), Unearthing Himalayan Treasures: Festschrift for Franz-Karl Ehrhard. Marburg: Indica und Tibetica Verlag, 143–63.
  • 2018a: "Padmasambhava in the Conjured Past." In: Pakhoutova, Elena (Hrsg.), The Second Buddha: Master of Time. New York: The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, The Rubin Museum of Art, und DelMonico Books·Prestel, 54–84.
  • 2018b: "Glossary." In: Pakhoutova, Elena (Hrsg.), The Second Buddha: Master of Time. New York: The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, The Rubin Museum of Art, und DelMonico Books·Prestel, 168–71.
  • 2017: "Narrative Transformations: The Spiritual Friends of Khri Srong lde brtsan." In: Allinger, Eva, Frantz Grenet, Christian Jahoda, Maria-Katharina Lang, Anne Vergati (eds.) Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia: Processes of Transfer, Translation and Transformation in Art, Acheaology, Religion and Polity. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 311–20.

Eingeladene Vorträge

  • 2021: “Incantations and Empire: A Study of Some Tibetan dhāraṇī Texts from Dunhuang” University of Ghent
  • 2020: “Localising Tibetan Buddhism in Dunhuang” at the BuddhistRoad Project, RUB Bochum
  • 2019: “Old Tibetan Prayer and Tubo Buddhism: IOL Tib J 466/3” Dunhuang Tibetan manuscript reading workshop, Tsinghua University
  • 2019: “Royal and Religious Symbols in Early Historical Descriptions of the Tubo Period” Tsinghua University
  • 2018: “Are Imperial Deities Evidence of Imperial ‘Religion’?” Austrian Academy of Sciences workshop “The Social and the Religious in the Making of Tibetan Societies: New Perspectives on Imperial Tibet” Vienna
  • 2018: “Tibetan Imperial ‘Religion’?” NTNU Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Colloquium
  • 2018: “Padmasambhava and History” Rubin Museum of Art Seminar “Perspectives on Padmasambhava,” New York
  • 2018: “Religious Masters and Royal Disciples: The Padmasambhava Paradigm” Cycle conférences Société Française d’Etudes du Monde Tibétain (SFEMT), Paris
  • 2017: “Tibetan Bodhisattva-Kingship” for the Universität Bonn’s Tibet und Himalaya Colloquium, 15th of November 2017: “Philological Insights into the Cult of Padmasambhava in Tibet” Universität Hamburg Khyentse Center Guest Lecture
  • 2016: “Indian Buddhist Kingship and Tibetan Imperial Historiography” Bristol University Theology and Religious Studies Department Research Seminar 
  • 2016: “Rupture and Revelation: Indian Themes in Early Tibetan Writings on Empire” Oxford Tibetan Graduate Students’ Seminar (TGSS)
  • 2016: “Siddham: South Asian Epigraphy in a Digital Age” EpiDoc Workshop 2016, University of London
  • 2016: “The Reflection of India in Early Tibetan Historiography: A Comparative Approach" SOAS South Asia Institute Seminar
  • 2016: “The Sense of a Beginning: Tibetan Biographical Tradition on the Indian Buddhist Master, Padmasambhava” Universität Leipzig
  • 2015: “Padmasambhava in Early Tibetan Historiography: New Research” Tibet Kolloquium, Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften und Zentralasien-Seminar, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
  • 2015: “The “Tibetan Artist,” Identity, Religion and Politics” Art Histories and Terminologies Workshop II, Universität Heidelberg
  • 2012: “Buddhists Rewriting History: The Redaction of the sBa bzhed,”  Archaeology of a Text: Creation and Redaction of Tibetan History, Ruhr-Universität Bochum


  • 2019: “Large Temple Bells of the Tubo Period in the Context of Exchange with Silk Road and East Asian States” at the “International Symposium on Cultural Exchange Along the Silk Road (6th to 9th Century),” Dunhuang
  • 2019: “Old Tibetan Prayer: An Attempt at Classification” at the 15th IATS Seminar, Paris
  • 2019: “The Nachlass of Edmund Fürholzer in Bonn” at the 15th IATS Seminar, Paris
  • 2019: “The Lama is in the Bar: Crazy Ascetics and their Royal Foils in Early Tibetan Buddhism” at the 17th annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religion in Tartu
  • 2019: “Old Tibetan Prayer: An Investigation into Native Taxonomic Categories” at the NTNU conference “‘When the Chips are Down,’ It’s Time to Pick them up: Thinking with Jonathan Z. Smith,” Trondheim
  • 2018: “Illuminating Manuscripts: Folios of the Maṇi bka’ ’bum tradition” at the Fifth International Seminar of Young Tibetologists (ISYT), St Petersburg
  • 2018: “Dharma and Dar ma: Indic Influence on Tibetan Language and Culture as Evidenced in the dBa’ bzhed History” at the Asia Beyond Boundaries conference “Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Primary Sources from the Premodern World,” Leiden
  • 2018: “Padmasambhava Traditions and the Transformation of Society” at the 2018 annual conference of the AAS, Washington DC
  • 2017: “Large Tibetan Bells and their Epigraphy” at the 18th Congress of IABS, Toronto
  • 2017: “Scriptorial Practices in 9th-Century Dunhuang: Evidence from the Aparimitayur-nāma Sūtra Copies” at the United Kingdom Association of Buddhist Studies (UKABS) annual conference
  • 2017: “For Whom the Bell Tolls: perspective and interconnectedness in studies of early Tibetan Buddhist material culture” at the seminar “Object Lessons from Tibet and the Himalayas,” Manchester
  • 2017: “Tibetan Social Statu(e)s: Anagnorisis in the Padma-vita Tradition” at the workshop “Social Status in the Tibetan World: Social Status as Reflected in Tibetan Fictional Narrative Literature, Biographies and Memoirs,” Bonn
  • 2017: “The Wander that was India” at the workshop “Global Lives and Local Perspectives: New Approaches to Tibetan Life Writing,” Wolfson College Oxford
  • 2017: “The Glorification of imperial Law in Early Tibetan Buddhist Historiography” at the workshop “Law and Legalism in Tibet,” Wolfson College Oxford, 20th to 21st of January 2016: “Tibetan Imperial Temple Bells and the Confluence of Indic Phraseology and Chinese Technology” 7th Coffee Break Conference, “Comparisons Across Time and Space,” Leiden
  • 2016: “Singing to Imperial Gods: A Ninth-Century Buddhist Prayer from Dunhuang” 14th International Association for Tibetan Studies (IATS) Seminar, Bergen
  • 2015: “The Fourteenth-Century Re-Birth of Tibetan Historiography after the Period of Mongol Hegemony” Fourth International Société Européenne pour l’Etude des Civilisations de l’Himalaya et de l’Asie Centrale (SEECHAC) Colloquium, Heidelberg, “Religious Revivals and Artistic Renaissance in Central Asia and the Himalayan Region—Past and Present”
  • 2015: “Transforming Guru Rinpoché: Redactions and Adaptations of the First Padmasambhava Biography” Fourth International Seminar of Young Tibetologists (ISYT), Leipzig
  • 2015: “Pious Alteration in Tibetan Historiography Concerning Indian Buddhism,”  “Expressing the Ineffable in South Asian Literary Traditions,” Freie Universität, Berlin
  • 2014: “Paper, People, and Prayers: A Community of Scribes and Editors Copying the Tibetan Aparimitayurnāma Sūtra at Dunhuang” Seventeenth Congress of IABS, Wien
  • 2013: “Transforming Tibetan Kingship” Third International SEECHAC Colloquium, Wien, “Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia: Processes of Transfer, Translation and Transformation in Art, Archaeology, Religion and Polity from Antiqity to the Present Day” 
  • 2013: “Milarepa in the Modern World,”  “Reading Outside the Lines,” LMU Munich
  • 2013: “The First Padmasambhava Biography” SOAS conference “Padmasambhava: Different Aspects,” SOAS, London
  • 2013: “Copying the Aparimitayurnāmasūtra (AN)" 13th IATS Seminar, Ulaanbaatar
  • 2013: “Bodhisattva-kingship in Early Tibetan Historical Sources” 13th IATS Seminar, Ulaanbaatar
  • 2012: “Exile and the Kingdom in Early Tibetan Hagiographies” Oxford (Wolfson) Conference “Beyond Biography: New Perspectives on Tibetan Life-writing” 
  • 2012: “Prefiguring and Refiguring in the Inscriptions Representing Khri Srong lde brtsan” Third ISYT, Kobe
  • 2021 Leitung der BuddhistRoad Konferenz “Establishing of Buddhist Nodes in Eastern Central Asia 6th to 14th c.– Part III: Impacts of Non-Buddhist Influences and Doctrines,” Ruhr-Universität Bochum (online)
  • 2019 Leitung (mit Dr. Quentin Devers und Dr. Emanuela Garatti) des Panels “Old Tibetan Studies VI,” 15th International Association for Tibetan Studies (IATS) Seminar, Paris
  • 2019 Co-convener (mit Prof. Nicholas Witkowski, Prof. Charles DiSimone und Dr. Jinkyoung Choi) des Panels “Fissure and Continuity in Himalayan and South Asian Buddhisms of the First Millennium CE,” 17th European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) Konferenz “Religion: Continuations and Disruptions,” Tartu Estonia
  • 2018 Co-convener (mit Prof. Benjamin Bogin) des Panels “The Second Buddha: New Perspectives on Padmasambhava,” Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Konferenz, Washington
  • 2017 Co-convener (mit Prof. Sven Bretfeld, NTNU Trondheim) des Panels “Bell Inscriptions Across the Buddhist World,” 18th Congress of IABS, Toronto
  • 2015 Co-convener des Workshops “Expressing the Ineffable in South Asian Literary Traditions,” Freie Universität, Berlin
  • 2014 Konferenzorganisation des Fourth ISYT, Leipzig
  • 2012 Leitung der Konferenz und des Workshops “Merkmals and Mirages: Dating (Old) Tibetan Writing,” LMU München
  • 2010 Konferenzorganisation der SOAS Research Students’ Society Konferenz, “Changing Lens: Visual Media and Otherness in Academic Research,” SOAS, London
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