Dr Rita E M Langer

M.A., Ph.D.(Hamburg)

  • BS8 1TB

20012020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Research

My research focuses on two different but complementary areas of Buddhism: (1) Buddhist ritual and its origin (in South and South East Asia, particularly Sri Lanka) and (2) Buddhist material culture and food. My approach is interdisciplinary and combines textual studies with field work. I have conducted extensive research into funerals rites and death rituals in Sri Lanka, Laos and Thailand as part of an AHRC funded project on Death Rituals in Southeast Asia and China. My current research project is concerned with food, merit and cosmology in Theravada Buddhism. I have conducted field work in Thailand, Laos and Myanmar but my main area of expertise is Sri Lankan Buddhism.

Teaching

My teaching responsibilities cover units in Buddhism and Indian Culture, as well as Sanskrit and Pāli. I have introduced well-subscribed units (open to second and third year students) on the “Religious and Cultural traditions of ancient India” and on “Death and Afterlife in Buddhism” and which make use of audio-visual material and primary sources in translation. In addition I have redesigned an existing, specialized unit concerned with history and practice of Theravada Buddhism in Asia (open to third year and MA students), by introducing audio-visual teaching material, which I generated during my field trips to Sri Lanka, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. The study of Indian languages (Pali and Sanskrit) is essential for serious students of Buddhism and Hinduism. The Sanskrit unit has also attracted quite a few Classics students bringing up the number of students enrolled for the unit considerably. Besides, I am lead person for a new collaboratively taught unit (Religion&Theology and Classics&Ancient History) on “Ghosts, death and the afterlife” which had attracted over 80 students. I have this year introduce a new unit “Dissertation with fieldwork or work placement” which is an alternative to the mandatory dissertation unit at level 3.

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Projects

  • BUDDHIST DEATH RITUALS OF SOUTH EAST ASIA AND CHINA

    Williams, P. M., Kieschnick, J. H., Ladwig, P., Langer, R. E. M. & Laxton, A.

    1/01/071/04/10

    Project: Research

  • Research Output

    Ten ways of making merit (dasapuñña-kiriyavatthu) in Theravāda exegetical literature and contemporary Sri Lankan practice

    Langer, R., 2020, (In preparation) Routledge Handbook of Theravada Buddhism. Routledge

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

  • The Transformative Power of Food: The “Milk Mothers” in Sri Lankan Buddhism

    Langer, R., 20 Oct 2019, In : Material Religion. 15, 5, p. 529-552 24 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • A Buddhist Cosmology in Food

    Langer, R., 2015

    Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

  • Datasets

    Caring for the Beyond Two Buddhist Festivals for the Deceased

    Langer, R. E. M. (Data Manager), Langer, R. E. M. (Creator), Kourilsky, G. (Contributor) & Ladwig, P. (Contributor), University of Bristol, 14 Jun 2013

    Dataset

    A Buddhist Cosmology in Food

    Langer, R. E. M. (Creator), Kampylis, S. (Contributor), Ghassemi, A. (Contributor), Frude, L. D. (Creator) & Andrikopoulos, K. (Contributor), University of Bristol, 19 Jun 2015

    Dataset

    Activities

    • 10 Other
    • 9 Participation in conference
    • 9 Invited talk

    'Engaging the dead'

    Rita E M Langer (Participant)

    11 Jan 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Seminar Series 2019-2020 on Religion in Cardiff

    Rita E M Langer (Participant)

    19 Feb 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Fieldwork in Sri Lanka

    Rita E M Langer (Speaker)

    9 Aug 20195 Sep 2019

    Activity: Other activity typesOther

    Supervised Work

    Verbal Magic in the Pali Canon: A Study on Protective-chants, Truth-acts, and Vows

    Author: Frude, L. D., 23 Jan 2020

    Supervisor: Langer, R. E. M. (Supervisor) & Muessig, C. A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)

    File