Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002
M.A., Harvard University, 1995
M.A., Columbia University, 1993
- Gender Studies
- Human-Animal Relationships
- Place and Space
Barbara R. Ambros is a professor in East Asian Religions in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research on Japanese Religions has focused on gender studies, human-animal relationships, and place and space.
She has published in journals such as the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Religions, Monumenta Nipponica, Asian Ethnology, Material Religion, and Asian Cultural Studies. Her book publications include Le donne nell’ordine monastico buddhista (Myo Edizioni, 2019), Women in Japanese Religions (New York University Press, 2015), Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012), and Emplacing a Pilgrimage: The Early Modern Ōyama Cult and Regional Religion (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008).
She served as the co-chair of the Animals and Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion from 2014 to 2021, the co-chair of the Japanese Religions Group at the American Academy of Religion from 2008 to 2014, and the President for the Study of Japanese Religions from 2008 to 2011. She has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, UNC’s Institute of Arts and Humanities, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and the German Academic Exchange Service.
Before coming to UNC Chapel Hill, where she presently teaches, she taught at Columbia University in New York and at International Christian University in Tokyo. She holds a PhD in East Asian Civilization and Languages from Harvard University (2002), an MA in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University (1995), and an MA in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University (1993).
COURSES RECENTLY TAUGHT
- RELI 073, From Dragons and Foxes to Godzilla and Pokemon: Animals in Japanese Myth, Folklore, and Religion
- RELI 184, East Asian Religions
- RELI 284, The Buddhist Tradition in East Asia
- RELI 286, Premodern Japanese Religion
- RELI 287, Modern Japanese Religions
- RELI 288, Chinese Religions
- RELI 488, Shinto in Japanese History
- RELI 586, Women, Sexuality, and Gender in Japanese Religions
- RELI 885, The Religions of Asia and the Construction of the Field
Translation. The Beef Taboo in China: Agriculture, Ethics, and Sacrifice. By Vincent Goossaert. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, in press.
Co-Editor with David Aftandilian and Aaron Gross. Animals and Religion. New York: Routledge, in press.
Associate Editor. The Oxford Handbook of Religious Space. Chief Editor: Jeanne Halgren Kilde. Other Associate Editors: David Bains, Susan L. Graham, Leonard N. Primiano, and David Simonowitz. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.
Le donne nell’ordine monastico buddhista: La cerimonia dedicata ad Ānanda come rito di affermazione [Women in the Buddhist monastic order: The ceremony dedicated to Ānanda as a rite of affirmation]. Trans. Laura Silvestri. Morbello (Alessandria), Italy: Myo Edizioni, 2019.
Co-Editor with Reiko Ohnuma. Buddhist Beasts: Reflections on Animals in Asian Religions and Culture. (Special Issue of Religions) 2019.
Co-edited with Michaela Mross, and James Ford. Kōshiki in Japanese Buddhism. (Special Issue of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies) Nagoya: Nanzan Institute of Religion and Culture, 2016.
Women in Japanese Religions. New York: New York University Press, 2015.
Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012.
Co-edited with Duncan Williams and Regan Murphy. Helen Hardacre and the Study of Japanese Religions. (Special Issue of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies) Nagoya: Nanzan Institute of Religion and Culture, 2009.
Emplacing a Pilgrimage: The Early Modern Ōyama Cult and Regional Religion Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2008).
Co-edited with Duncan Williams. Local Religion in Tokugawa History. Nagoya: Nanzan Institute of Religion and Culture, 2001.