Amanda Goodman

Assistant Professor
170 St. George Street, Room 334



Department for the Study of Religion

Areas of Interest

  • Buddhist studies
  • Chinese religions
  • Dunhuang studies
  • Silk Road studies
  • Ritual studies
  • Manuscript cultures


Amanda Goodman's research focuses on the transmission and spread of Buddhist tantra in the 'borderland' regions between China and Tibet during the 8th-12th centuries. Taking the Dunhuang manuscript cache as her primary archive, her work explores the ways in which tantric forms of Buddhist ritual were appropriated and altered along the Sino-Tibetan frontier, as well as in central China. Her work employs historiographical and text–critical methods, along with insights gleaned from ritual studies and the archaeology of the book, to discuss the production of Buddhist specialist knowledge related to techniques of personal cultivation in the pre-modern period, and the various formats used to disseminate that knowledge in the age of the Buddhist manuscript. She regularly offers classes in the Department of East Asian Studies and the Department for the Study of Religion on the transmission of religions along the ancient Silk Road, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, Central Asian Buddhism, East Asian esoteric Buddhism, as well as the history of the Chinese book. She is in the process of completing her first book manuscript, "The Chan-Tantra Connection: Ritual Exchange and the Production of Buddhist Perfection," as well as several articles that offer new readings of the old Chinese and Tibetan Dunhuang documents.


PhD, UC Berkeley, Buddhist Studies
MA, University of Michigan, Buddhist Studies
BA, Indiana University, Comparative Literature and Chinese