Reminder: consideration of applications will begin soon for PhD/Post-doc positions

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 6 12:05:26 UTC 2011

dear Colleagues,

This is just a reminder that consideration will begin soon for applications
for 2 positions--PhD and/or Post-doc-- as mentioned in the announcement
which I sent earlier, and repeat below. We welcome any and all qualified

Thanks for spreading the word--Jonathan Silk


PhD Student/Post-Doctoral Fellow Positions (11-081)

Faculty of Humanities

PhD Student/Post-Doctoral Fellow Positions in Buddhism and Social
Justice: Doctrine, Ideology and Discrimination in Tension

Vacancy number: 11-081

The Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) of the Faculty
of Humanities at Leiden University invites applications for two
full-time positions (PhD student and/or Post-doctoral Fellow) in the
NWO-funded project "Buddhism and Social Justice: Doctrine, Ideology
and Discrimination in Tension," headed by Prof. dr. Jonathan
Silk. Initial appointment will be from September 2011 or as soon as
possible thereafter.

Since its foundation in 1575, Leiden University, with around 17,000
students and 4,000 staff, has built an internationally recognized
record of excellence in teaching and research. The Faculty of
Humanities consists of the Institutes for Area Studies, Creative &
Performing Arts, Cultural Disciplines, History, Linguistics,
Philosophy, and Religious Studies. It has about 4,500 students and 900
staff from around the world. The faculty offers about 30 BA and 45 MA
programs. The Graduate School has an annual output of about 50 PhDs.

The Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (, which comprises the Schools of Asian
Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, is committed to the integration of
disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives, and has as its aim
the advancement of teaching and research of Area Studies at Leiden
University and in the wider academic community. Area specializations
in Asian Studies include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South- & Southeast
Asian, and Tibetan Studies.

Project description

Buddhism is widely perceived to be, and Buddhist sources themselves
promote the tradition as, a philosophy of liberation. Yet Buddhist
societies, both ancient and modern, not only evidence, but indeed seem
to promote, social inequalities. The project 'Buddhism and Social
Justice' explores the inner tensions in Buddhist cultures between
inherited core values and social realities.

The project revolves around a core investigation of slavery and caste
in India, with current collaborators also investigating slavery in
Korea and monastic economy in Tibet, approached through
text-historical, historical and a socio-anthropological methods. The
synergy between subprojects lies in the question of how Buddhist ways
of thinking and acting inform and structure historically Buddhist
Asian societies, and how, correspondingly, Buddhist ideologies and
dogmas were transformed in historical contexts. This study seeks
therefore to uncover the links between the ancient and the modern and
the theoretical and the real-world, thereby leading both to a deeper
appreciation of how religious systems function in societies in
general, and to a more nuanced appreciation of the dynamics of
historically Buddhist societies in general, particularly with respect
to questions of social justice.

For the available positions we seek scholars interested in
investigating some aspect of Buddhism and Social Justice, broadly
conceived. Because the starting point of the project is Buddhism,
rather than Social Justice per se, familiarity with the history,
doctrine and relevant original languages of Buddhist traditions is

Tasks for PhD candidates:

  - Participation in local research meetings and PhD teaching;

  - The writing of a PhD dissertation;

  - Helping to organize a conference in the framework of the research

  - Presenting papers at international conferences;

  - Publishing research results in the form of (an) article(s).


  - A (Research) MA degree in Buddhist Studies or in a related field with a
  strong Buddhist Studies component; exceptionally qualified students with a
  BA are also encouraged to apply;

  - Knowledge of the relevant language(s);

  - Ability to work both independently and as part of a team;

  - Excellent skills in English.

Post-Doc applicants should  have a demonstrably excellent academic track
record in Buddhist Studies, and hold a PhD in Buddhist Studies or a related
field, or its equivalent. They should have an excellent command of English
and be prepared to present their research results in English. In addition to
research, post-doc fellows will teach a small number of courses on topics
within their area of specialization, and assist in guiding the PhD students.

Conditions of employment

The position of Ph.D. student is temporary for maximally four years of
full-time appointment, and with an initial nine-month probationary period.
The position of the Post-doctoral fellow is temporary, max. three years with
a full-time appointment, and with an initial nine-month probationary period.

The salary is determined in accordance with the current scales as set out in
the collective labour agreement for the Dutch universities (CAO):

Ph.D. fellow: min. ¤ 2.042,- max. ¤ 2.612,- gross per month, with additional
holiday and end-of-year bonuses.

Postdoctoral fellow: min. ¤ 2.379, max. ¤ 4.374, , with additional holiday
and end-of-year bonuses.

Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial
tax break.


For more information about the position please contact Prof. dr. J.A Silk,
tel. +31-71-527-2510, email * at*. Please note that *
applications* should not be sent directly to Prof. Silk; see the address


PhD candidates please send your application (in English), including:

***         a cover letter stating your motivation for this position,

***         a CV,

***         copies of your academic transcripts,

***         an English writing sample,

***         two letters of reference.

 Post-doc candidates please send your application (in English), including:

***         a cover letter stating your motivation for this position,

***         a CV,

***         copies of your academic transcripts,

***         a copy of your PhD thesis and other relevant publications,

***         three letters of reference.

Review of applications will commence by 15 May 2011 and continue until
the position is filled or this call is closed.

Please *send your application* electronically, indicating the vacancy
number to: vacatureslias at

All application materials should be sent in pdf format.

If it is not possible for you to submit an electronic application, you
may mail your materials, citing the vacancy number, to:

M. van Asperen

Leiden University
PO Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

A telephone (or Skype) interview may be part of the selection procedure.

J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Johan Huizinga Building, Room 1.37
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
The Netherlands

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