dr. Thomas Jülch

Thomas Jülch

Postdoctoral research fellow (Chinese studies)                                     

Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Ghent University
Blandijnberg 2
5th floor, office 150.004
B-9000 Gent

Email: Thomas.Julch@UGent.be

Academic education

PhD: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Munich, Germany)
MA: The University of Hull (Kingston upon Hull, England)

Publications projects in progress

  • Monograph project 1: The Zhenzheng lun by Xuanyi: A Buddhist Apologetic Treatise of the Tang Dynasty.

    This will be a translation of the Zhenzheng lun (T 2112) preceded by a short introduction.

  • Monograph project 2: An Annalistic History of Buddhism in China from the Beginning of the Dharma until the End of the Nanbeichao Period.

    This will be a translation of Fozu tongji (T 2035), juan 34-38, preceded by a short introduction.

  • Edited volume: The Middle Kingdom and the Dharma Wheel: Aspects of the Relationship Between the Buddhist Sagha and the State in Chinese History.

    This is a volume which has been accepted for publication by Brill. I am the editor, and also contribute one article and the introduction. Other contributors include Max Deeg, Chen Jinhua, Albert Welter, Claudia Fritz, Zhang Dewei, and Barend ter Haar.


Chinese Buddhist Apologetic Literature in a Diachronic Perspective
I organized this training course for PhD students within the framework of the Doctoral Schools of Ghent University, together with Prof. Christoph Anderl. The teaching was conducted by Zhang Dewei, an invited guest lecturer, and myself.

Conference Participation

Recent conference participation included the 2015 AOSWB Conference in Boulder, Colorado, with a presentation regarding the reception of Chinese Buddhist apologetic argumentation in Fozu tongji (T 2035), fascicles 34-38.



  • Bodhisattva der Apologetik: die Mission des buddhistischen Tang-Mönchs Falin. Munich: Utz, 2014 (3 vols., 1,142 pp.) (trans: Bodhisattva of Apologetics: The Mission of Tang Buddhist Monk Falin)

  • Der Orden des Sima Chengzhen und des Wang Ziqiao – Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Shangqing-Daoismus in den Tiantai-Bergen. Munich: Utz, 2011. (145 pp.) (trans: The Order of Sima Chengzhen and Wang Ziqiao: Examinations on the History of Shangqing-Daoism in the Tiantai Mountains)

  • Die apologetischen Schriften des buddhistischen Tang-Mönchs Falin. Munich: Utz, 2011. (690 pp.) (trans: The Apologetic Scriptures of the Tang Buddhist Monk Falin)


  • “Die Verlegung des Hauptsitzes der Shangqing-Schule in die Tiantai-Berge”, in: Kontinuität und Umbruch in China (Jahrbuch der Deutschen Vereinigung für Chinastudien, vol. 8). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2014. pp. 61-73.

  • “Wang Anshi’s ‘Treatise on Great Men’”, in: Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. 66(2), 2013. pp. 197-204.

  • “On Whether or Not Buddhist Monks Should Bow to the Emperor: Yancong’s Treatise on the Fields of Blessedness”, in: Monumenta Serica, vol. 60, 2012. pp. 1-43.

  • “The Buddhist re-interpretation of the legends surrounding King Mu of Zhou”, in: Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 130(4), 2011. pp. 625-627.

  • “Taoismus”, in: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit, vol. 12. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2011. pp. 269-274 (in collaboration with Prof. Achim Mittag).

Talks Presented at Academic Conferences

  • "King Mu of Zhou in Buddhist Apologetic Thought”, 17th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Vienna, August, 2014.

  • “The Relevance of the Hagiographic Materials Regarding the Tang Buddhist Monk Falin for Buddhist Apologetic Thought”, American Oriental Society, Western Branch, October 2013.

  • “The Apologetic Thought of the Early Tang Monk Falin”, Association for Asian Studies, San Diego, March 2013.

  • “Die Verlegung des Hauptsitzes der Shangqing-Schule vom Mao-Berg in die Tiantai-Berge”, Deutsche Vereinigung für Chinastudien, Berlin, November 2011 (trans: The Transferal of the Main Seat of the Shangqing School from Mount Mao to the Tiantai Mountains).

Engagement as Panel Organizer at Academic Conferences

  • “Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan Buddhism interacting with state authorities”, Association for Asian Studies, San Diego, March 2013; invited scholars: Richard Nance (Assistant Professor, Indiana University); Chen Jinhua (Professor, University of British Columbia); Zhang Dewei (Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster University); Elliot Sperling (Associate Professor, Indiana University)

Engagement as Chair at Academic Conferences

  • Panel: “East Asian Buddhism”, 17th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Vienna, August, 2014.

  • Panel: “Abhidharma in China”, From Abhidhamma to Abhidharma: Early Buddhist Scholasticism in India, Central-Asia, and China, Ghent, July, 2013.

Book reviews

  • Tian Xiaofei, Visionary Journeys Travel Writings from Early Medieval and NineteenthCentury China. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2011. (reviewed for Early Medieval China)

  • Kenneth R. Stunkel, Ideas and Art in Asian Civilizations: India, China, and Japan. Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 2011. (reviewed for The Middle Ground Journal)

  • Li Wei, Schwanfrau und Prinz. Die chinesische Frühform einer Divyāvadāna-Legende. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2012. (reviewed for: Monumenta Serica)

  • Konrad Meisig and Marion Meisig, A Buddhist Chinese Glossary/Buddhistisch-Chinesisches Glossar. East Asia Intercultural Studies/Interkulturelle Ostasienstudien, vol. 6. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2012. xxvi, 259 pp.; Tilmann Vetter, A Lexicographical Study of An Shigao’s and His Circle’s Chinese Translations of Buddhist Texts. Studia Philologica Buddhica Monograph Series, vol. 28. Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 2012. (jointly reviewed for Journal of Chinese Religions)