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Staff profile

staff list   Back Professor B Scherer

  • Job title: Professor of Comparative Religion, Gender and Sexuality
  • Dept: School of Humanities
  • Tel: 01227 782320
  • Campus: Canterbury

Profile summary

Professor Scherer (PhD, Groningen, The Netherlands) came to Christ Church in summer 2003, having previously been a visiting scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle and Lecturer in both Classics (Greek and Latin) and Indian Religions (Hinduism and Buddhism) in Groningen. B.'s doctoral thesis dealt with questions of myth and literary criticism; additionally B. has published considerably in the field of Buddhism, Gender and Sexuality.

Professor Scherer is the founder of the Queering Paradigms network and conference series and a member of the AHRC peer review college.

In 2014-2015, B. is the Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies  at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

B. holds a particular interest for Historical Anthropology; Classical and Indian literature; Buddhist Philosophy & Practice; Religion and Social Justice; and Critical Theory & Queer Theory. 

Apart from the narrative dimension of religions and the interplay of religion and gender & sexuality, B.’s particular focus is on the Indian Traditions: Tantra and Mahāmudrā and the intersection of Buddhist Philosophy and Queer Theory.

B.'s current research focuses on contemporary Buddhist movements between tradition and modernity. In particular, B. is intersted in controversial, charismatic and/or radical forms of Buddhism.              

Professor Scherer has acted as external examiner at - among others - Bath Spa University (Tibetan Buddhism), Bielefeld University (Comparative Literature) and the University of Kent at Canterbury (Religious Studies).

As a scholar and Buddhist, Professor Scherer is active within the Inter-religious Dialogue and Human Rights Activism. 

Teaching and subject expertise

Professor Scherer expertise is in the areas of Comparative and Asian Religion, in partiular spanning the breadth and depth in Buddhist Studies where B has published in on philological (Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese), philosophical (ontology, Madhyamaka), sociological/anthropological (gender identity, sexuality, globalisation, conversion, contemporary Buddhist movements) aspects of Buddhism. As founder of the Queering Paradigms network, B is further a well known scholar in the area of Queer Theory/Applied Queer Studies.    

External activities

Recent conference papers and guest lectures include

  • “Issues in Buddhist Sexual Ethics: Past and Present” Rangjung Yeshe Institute, University of Kathmandu, 8 July 2014.
  • “Crossings and Dwellings: Being Behind Transphobia” Fear and Loathing: Phobia in Literature and Culture, 9-10 May 2014, University of Kent. Online at
  • “Contemporary lay organisations in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism” International Lay Buddhist Forum, Tokyo, 23-29 April 2014.
  • “A Neo-orthodox Buddhist Movement in Transition: the late-charismatic status quo and the post-charismatic perspectives of the Diamond Way”, INFORM Conference ‘Minority Religions’, 31 Jan-2 Feb 2014, London School of Economics.
  • “QueerThinking Religion” Expert workshop Queer Studies and Religion, November 20-21, 2013; Barnard Center for Research on Women, Columbia University, New York. 
  • “Radical Buddhism as anti-consumerist resistance: The Socio-Economic Model of the Asoke Community in Thailand” EASR/BASR 2013, Liverpool (3-6 September)
  • “Trans-European Permutations: (Non-) Negotiating Public Opinions about Homosexuality in a Contemporary Buddhist Movement” EASR/BASR 2013, Liverpool (3-6 September)
  • “Buddhism and Sexuality” Patan Archeological Museum and Tribhuvan University, Nepal, 2 January 2013.
  • “Ästhetische Erfahrung als Kontemplation [Aesthetic experience as contemplation]” Tagung: Meditation in Religion, Ästhetik und Bildung Freie Universität Berlin, 10-12 May 2012.
  • “Narrative strategies in contemporary Buddhist (Auto)hagiographical writings” Conference: Narrative Pattern and Genre in Hagiographic Life Writing, University of Hamburg, 2-3 March 2012.
  • “Queer as Kagyu: Negotiating Dissident Identities in Neo-Orthodox Buddhist Spaces” Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Study of Religion, Oxford University 1 March 2012.
  • “Nāgārjuna, Nirvāṇa and Nihilism: Re-reading the Ratnāvalī” Buddhist Forum, SOAS 9 December 2011
  • “Philosophy and View in the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism” 5th Lay Buddhist Forum, Seoul 28 October 2011.
  • “Buddhist Philosophy and Queer Theory” Åbo Akademi (Turku, Finland), 6 September 2011.
  • “Queer Voices, Social Media and Neo-orthodox Dharma: A Case Study” AAS (Association of Asian Studies) annual meeting 31 March-3 April 2011, Honolulu.

Publications and research outputs

Selected books

Meditationstexte des Buddhismus (editor & translator). Freiburg i. Br.: Herder 2011.

Queering Paradigms, Vol. 2: Interrogating Agendas (co-editor with Mattew Ball). Oxford: Peter Lang 2011.

Queering Paradigms (editor). Oxford – Berlin – New York: Peter Lang 2010.

Mythos Helena (co-editor with Ludger Scherer). Leipzig: Reclam Verlag 2008.

Mythos, Katalog und Prophezeiung. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag 2006 (Palingenesia. 87).

Buddhismus. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus 2005.22008.


Selected peer-reviewed articles and chapters

“Conversion, Devotion and (Trans-)Mission: Understanding Ole Nydahl” in Lewis, Todd (ed.), Buddhists: Understanding Buddhism Through the Lives of Practitioners. London: Blackwell Wiley 2014, pp. 96-106.

“Queer Voices, Social Media and Neo-orthodox Dharma: A Case Study” in O’Mara, Kathleen and Morrish, Liz (eds.) Queering Paradigms, Vol. 3: Bio-Politics, Place, and Representations. Oxford: Peter Lang 2013, pp. 145-155.

“Globalizing Tibetan Buddhism: Modernism and Neo-Orthodoxy in Contemporary Karma bKa’ brgyud Organizations.” Contemporary Buddhism 13 (2012), 125-137.

“Nāgārjuna on Temporary Happiness and Liberation: Readings of the Ratnāvalī in India, China, and Tibet” in Sharma, Anita (ed.), Buddhism in East Asia. Delhi: Vidyanidhi Publishers 2012, pp. 125-139.

“Vertikale Hierarchie und archaische Sakralität: Zur mythopoësis des Fußes.” Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für historische Anthropologie. 21.1 (2012), pp. 129-143.

“Macho Buddhism: Gender and Sexualities in the Diamond Way” in Religion and Gender 1, pp. 85-103,

“Interpreting the Diamond Way: Contemporary Convert Buddhism in Transition.” Journal of Global Buddhism 10, pp. 17-48,

“Kambala’s Ālokamāla and the Perils of Philology.” Buddhist Studies Review 2006.2, pp. 121-126.

“Gender transformed and meta-gendered enlightenment: Reading Buddhist narratives as paradigms of inclusiveness.” Revista de Estudos da Religião – REVER 6.3 (2006), pp. 65-76.  Also online: