Contrat doctoral : Buddhist Temple Economies in Urban Asia, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology


The new Research Group ‘Buddhist Temple Economies in Urban Asia’ within the Department ‘Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia’ is recruiting:

2 PhD positions/grants (starting as soon as possible)

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Allemagne)

Employing the methods of urban anthropology, this group will explore present-day Buddhist temples/monasteries in their wider social and political settings. Studies of Buddhism often mirror the otherworldly tendencies of this religion by treating the mundane matters of managing monks, nuns and temples as a secondary concern. Yet like any institution, Buddhist temples have to confront economic issues in order to sustain themselves. Researchers will conduct ethnographic fieldwork at one or more Buddhist temples placing them in local and translocal contexts, paying particular attention to the financial and material flows between the temple and the laity, social networks around the temple, and the justifications for economic reasoning in a world-renouncers’ religion. Depending on the circumstances, this may involve research both inside and outside temples and on both clergy and laypeople.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

The group is open to research in all Asian countries and all traditions of Buddhism. Field experience and linguistic skills within the proposed research areas are expected. The group will work together in Halle/Saale (except when undertaking field or archival research elsewhere, the costs of which will be covered).

Your Profile

Good field research skills, the ability to work in a team, and communication skills with good written and spoken English are required. The dissertation will be written in English. Acquisition of the German language is encouraged, especially if there is relevant literature on the research topic in German. Field Research is carried out in the local language. The Max Planck Institute aims at assisting in language learning.

Our Offer

PhD positions/grants are generally awarded for 3 years. We expect our PhD students to complete a one year period of fieldwork as part of their studies.

The Max Planck Society strives to employ more persons with disabilities and explicitly encourages applications.


Please submit your application electronically by following the link for vacancies on our homepage ( The job announcement will be published until the positions/grants are filled.

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Advokatenweg 36
06114 Halle (Saale)
Telefon: +49 (0) 345 2927 0

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