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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.

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.       

Research and knowledge exchange

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

As a scholar and Buddhist, Professor Scherer is active within the Inter-religious Dialogue and Human Rights Activism. B. is currently the Vice-President of the International Lay Buddhist Forum.

As Queering Paradigms founder, B. is involved in multiple scholarly social justice activism and knowledge exchange activities; currently Professor Scherer organises the multilocational 6th Queering Paradigms conference, 20-25 July 2015 at the University of Winchester, CCCU and the University of Kent.

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

In 2014-2015 B. has been the Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at McGill (Montreal, Canada).

Recent conference papers and guest lectures include

  • "Enlightened compassion and female embodiment in Indo-Tibetan Vajrayāna: Tārā in praise and meditation" Guanyin conference. Singapore, Poh Ming Tse Temple, 3-4 April 2015 
  • "Buddhist Queers, Queering Buddhism", University of Calgary, Canada, 2 December 2014.
  • "Dissident Voices and Transnational Tibetan Buddhism", Kalamazoo College, MI, USA, 4 November 2014.
  • "Being Behind Transphobia” Queer Bodies conference", Birkbeck, University of London, 29 July 2014.
  • “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
  • “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]” Freie Universität Berlin, 10-12 May 2012.
  • “Narrative strategies in contemporary Buddhist (Auto)hagiographical writings”, University of Hamburg, 2-3 March 2012.
  • “Queer as Kagyu: Negotiating Dissident Identities in Neo-Orthodox Buddhist Spaces” Oxford University 1 March 2012.
  • “Nāgārjuna, Nirvāṇa and Nihilism: Re-reading the Ratnāvalī” Buddhist Forum, SOAS 9 December 2011
  • “Queer Voices, Social Media and Neo-orthodox Dharma: A Case Study” AAS 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

"Queering Paradigms: From Individual Resistance to Global-local Impact" e-International Relations (23 February 2015),

"Trans-European Adaptations in the Diamond Way: Negotiating Public Opinions on Homosexuality in Russia and in the U.K." ONLINE – Journal of religions on the internet, December 6 (2014), pp. 103-125;

“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. 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.” REVER 6.3 (2006), pp. 65-76.  Also online: