Johan Elverskog

Department Chair, Professor


Office Location

Hyer Hall 300B





B.A., University of California, Berkeley; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University

Dr. Johan Elverskog is Dedman Family Distinguished Professor, Professor of Religious Studies, and, by courtesy, Professor of History. He has published widely on the history of Buddhism across Asia and is the author and editor of eleven books and numerous articles, which have won several awards and also been translated into Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Turkish. He is currently working on two projects. The first is a history of the influence Inner Asian peoples had on shaping Chinese history and culture. The second is an edited volume Sources of Mongol Tradition, which is a comprehensive collection of Mongolian works covering the development of Mongolian civilization from the earliest beginnings until today and is under contract with the Introduction to Asian Civilizations Series of Columbia University Press.

Courses Taught

  • Buddhism
  • Religions of China
  • Cultural History of Tibet
  • Introduction to Asian Religions

Recent Publications

A History of Uyghur Buddhism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2024.

실크로드의 불교와 이슬람
(trans. Han In-Sung) Seoul: Hanul Books, 2024.

The Precious Summary: A History of the Mongols from Chinggis Khan to the Qing
New York: Columbia University Press, 2023.

The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Buddhist Asia.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.


Elverskog’s research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Research Foundation, the James P. Geiss & Margaret Y. Hsu Foundation, the Robert H.N. Ho Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others. His book Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road won the American Academy of Religion’s Award for Excellence. He has also been a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the Käte Hamburger Kolleg, and the National Humanities Center.
Johan Elverskog