Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Nicholas Witkowski

Assistant Professor, School of Humanities

Phone: +65 65132710
Office: HSS 05 26
Asst Prof Nicholas Witkowski

Nicholas Witkowski received his PhD in 2015 in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University in the field of Indian Buddhism. Before joining NTU, he was a JSPS postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at Tokyo University. At NTU, Dr. Witkowski teaches courses on religions of South, East, and Southeast Asia, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, Islam as well as a wide range of indigenous traditions.
Research Interests
Dr. Witkowski is engaged in two research projects, one belonging to the ancient world of South Asia and a second which deals with contemporary South Asian religious communities. The first is a multi-stage project that draws primarily on the Buddhist law codes (Vinaya) to demonstrate the centrality of ascetic precepts (dhūtaguṇas) to the Buddhist monastery of the middle period (0-500CE) in Indian Buddhism. Dr. Witkowski's recent publications have focused on the cultures of everyday life in the Indian Buddhist monastery. A second project focuses on the ascetic practices of South Indian communities, both within India, and across Indian diaspora communities in Southeast Asia.
Selected Publications
  • Witkowski, Nicholas.(2019). “Does Institutionalization Cool the Fire of Ascetic Discipline? A Case Study Examining an Indian Buddhist Legal Code for Evidence of Begging in the Monastic Context". BDRC Occasional Papers in Buddhist Studies.
  • Witkowski, Nicholas. (2019). “Losing One’s Way on the Meditative Path: A Phenomenology of Spiritual Failure in Aśubhabhāvanā Practice based on Evidence from Vinaya Traditions Preserved in Chinese,”. Buddhism, Law & Society, .
  • Witkowski, Nicholas. (2019). “Living with the Dead as a Way of Life: A Materialist Historiographical Approach to Cemetery Asceticism in Indian Buddhist Monasticisms”. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, .
  • Witkowski, Nicholas. (2018, March). "Experiencing Corpse Meditation: A Comparison of Depictions of Aśubhabhāvanā in the Visuddhimagga with those found in Vinaya Traditions". Paper presented at Theravāda Civilizations Conference, Marriot Wardman Washington DC.
  • Witkowski, Nicholas. (2018, March). "Domestic or Ascetic: The Pragmatics of Female Renunciation in Ancient India". Paper presented at Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Washington DC.

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