Prof. Dr. Michael Puett

Bild von Michael Puett

Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"
Ulrich-Schalk-Str. 3a
91056 Erlangen




Home Institution: Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University (USA)


IKGF Visiting Fellow Sept. – Dec. 2011

(Last change of profile by end of stay.)

IKGF Research Projects:

Sages, Creation, and Fate
Early Chinese Divination Texts and Bronze Inscriptions

Michael Puett is Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations as well as Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. His interests are focused on the inter-relations between anthropology, history, religion, and philosophy.

He is the author of "The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early China" and "To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China", as well as the co-author, with Adam Seligman, Robert Weller, and Bennett Simon, of "Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity".

Selected Publications

  • Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity.
    Co-authored with Robert Weller, Adam Seligman, and Bennett Simon. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.)
  • To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China.
    (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2002.)
  • The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early China.
    (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.)
  • "Ritualization as Domestication: Ritual Theory from Classical China."
    Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual, Volume I: Grammars and Morphologies of Ritual Practices in Asia.
    Edited by Axel Michaels. (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010), pp. 365-376.
  • "The Haunted World of Humanity: Ritual Theory from Early China."
    Rethinking the Human. Edited by J. Michelle Molina and Donald K. Swearer, with Susan Lloyd McGarry.
    (Cambridge: Center for the Study of World Religions, 2010), pp. 95-111.
  • "The Belatedness of the Present: Debates over Antiquity during the Han Dynasty."
    Perceptions of Antiquity in Chinese Civilization. Edited by Dieter Kuhn and Helga Stahl. (Heidelberg: Würzburger Sinologische Schriften, 2008). Pages 177-190.
  • "Human and Divine Kingship in Early China: Comparative Reflections."
    Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond. Edited by Nicole Brisch. (Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2008.) Pages 199-212.
  • "The Temptations of Sagehood, or: The Rise and Decline of Sagely Writing in Early China."
    Books in Numbers. Edited by Wilt Idema. (Cambridge: Harvard-Yenching Library, 2007.) Pages 23-47.
  • "Humans, Spirits, and Sages in Chinese Late Antiquity: Ge Hong’s Master Who Embraces Simplicity (Baopuzi)."
    Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident 29 (2007): 95-119.
  • "Listening to Sages: Divination, Omens, and the Rhetoric of Antiquity in Wang Chong’s Lunheng."
    Oriens Extremus 45 (2005-2006): 271-281.
  • "The Offering of Food and the Creation of Order: The Practice of Sacrifice in Early China."
    Of Tripod and Palate: Food, Politics, and Religion in Traditional China. Edited by Roel Sterckx. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.) Pages 75-95.
  • "Forming Spirits for the Way: The Cosmology of the Xiang’er Commentary to the Laozi."
    Journal of Chinese Religions 32 (2004): 1-27.

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