Jeffrey Theodore Kotyk F'18, F'16

Jeffrey Theodore Kotyk
Postdoctoral Fellow
Religious Studies
McMaster University
last updated: 4/1/2020

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Buddhist Studies 2018
Visiting Scholar
Leiden Institute of Area Studies
Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands
Buddhist and State Historiographies in Medieval China
McMaster University, Canada

This study investigates Buddhist historiography during the Tang (618–907) and early Song (960–1279) dynasties in relation to contemporary state historiography. The aim will be to determine and analyze the methodologies, sources and strategies that Buddhist authors employed in this period to construct their history. This Buddhist historiography will be compared to the types of historiography employed by court historians in an attempt to determine their common features and differences, with additional consideration of anti- and pro-Buddhist biases. The proposed theory is that there existed two separate traditions of historiography during the Tang and Song: one of the state, and the other Buddhist. This distinction is not normally made in present scholarship.

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies 2016
Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands
Buddhist Astrology and Star Worship in the Tang Dynasty

The present study establishes a chronology for the first substantial introduction of occidental astrology into China on the part of Buddhists in the eighth century, in particular Subhakarasimha and Amoghavajra, and argues that the subsequent widespread interest in astrology in China was enabled and encouraged by Tantric Buddhism. The resulting practical astrological texts designed for effective star worship and astral magic on the part of Buddhists are examined. The influence of these developments in Chinese society are identified and considered. The result of this study sheds light on hitherto unstudied currents of Eurasian cultural exchange which had far reaching influences in East Asian cultures.