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MA 'Religion and Philosophy in Asia' (120 ECTS)

Religion and Philosophy in Asia (MA)

The interdisciplinary, research-oriented Master's degree „Religion and Philosophy in Asia” combines the regional approaches of the subjects of Japanese Studies, Chinese Studies, Mongolian Studies, Indology and Tibetology with the methodological approach of the subject of Religious Studies. The program builds on language skills such as Japanese, Chinese (including Classical Chinese), Sanskrit, Classical Tibetan, Hindi/Urdu, Kannada and/or on competence in the methodology of Religious Studies, which have been acquired by students in their BA program. It is designed to prove advanced training in the language as well as to expand regional expertise and methodological competence, focusing on topics of religious and philosophical traditions of Asia.

Please find the general information about the program and the admission requirements here (in German) and here (in English).

International applicants who wish to study at the LMU need to submit their application to the LMU International Office. Please address all questions concerning your general application and admission requirements (University admission qualification, Evidence of proficiency in German) to

Program coordinator: Nicole Terzová.



The forms linked to from here on are in German.

Basic information on the structure of the programme and the admission requirements can be found here. In the Modulhandbuch you will find the exact degree structure with a description of the courses and the examination modalities. The degree and examination regulations can be found here.

The LSF enrolment deadline for MA students is announced each semester in the LSF course catalogue. Together with the remaining information on the MA Religion and Philosophy in Asia, it can be found in the section of the Fakultät für Kulturwissenschaften/Faculty for the Study of Culture. 

Pre-registration for exams is required, and only pre-registered exams will be set up. Please send the completed registration form to the course co-ordinator,, by the end of the 3rd week of lectures each semester.

Final registration for exams can be then carried out via the LSF.

Pre-registration for exams in the summer semester
Pre-registration for exams in the winter semester

You can find further relevant forms and information on this degree program on the pages of the Arts and Social Sciences Examination Office (PAGS).

Notes on the MA Thesis 

For all students, work on their MA thesis starts in March (summer semester) or August/September (winter semester). Students can find out the exact registration and submission dates from the examination office via this link. Registration for the MA thesis is done via this form, which has to be handed in to the Indology administrative office on the first day of the registration period, signed by the examinee and the supervisor. You have exactly 16 weeks to write your thesis, which needs to be 140,000-250,000 characters in length. Characters are to be counted with spaces, excluding the cover sheet and the plagiarism statement. The sample cover sheet and plagiarism statement can be found here. Three bound copies of your MA thesis have to be handed in, on time and in person, at the PAGS examination office (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, HGB, room D020).

Students are advised to contact potential supervisors during the semester prior to registering for the MA thesis in order to arrange a general topic:

Concentration in Indology/Tibetology:

  • Prof. Dr. Vincent Tournier: history of Buddhism; history of India; early Buddhist doctrine and soteriology; Sanskrit literature; Pāli literature; early Indian art and material culture.
  • Prof. Dr. Robert Zydenbos: Kannada literature and linguistics; modern Sanskrit; Jainism and Hinduism (religion and philosophy).
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Maurer: cultural and scientific history of Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism in past and present.
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Scheider: Sanskrit literature; Kavya poetry; Indo-Tibetan philology.
  • Prof. em. Dr. Jens-Uwe Hartmann: Sanskrit literature; Buddhism in past and present; modern reception of India; ancient Indian history, society and religion.
  • Jens Knüppel, M.A.: Urdu literature; Hindi literature; Telugu literature; recent Indian history; South Indian art music; Islam in India.
  • Dr. Stefan Baums: Sanskrit literature, Prakrit literature; Pāli literature; early Buddhism.
  • Dr. Elisa Ganser: Sanskrit language and literature; history of India drama and performing arts; Indian aesthetics; Indian religion and philosophy; history of Indian art.
  • Dr. Athanaric Huard: Buddhist meditation; Buddhist narrative literature (Sanskrit, Tocharian, Chinese) of the first millenium (especially Maitreya literature, Buddhacarita); manuscriptology and paleography of Central Asian Brāhmī; Tocharian linguistics.
  • Dr Louise Roche: cultural and social history of ancient Cambodia; Khmer elites and kingship history; ancient Khmer Buddhism; images and iconographic practices; visual narration and system of representation; history of Indian and Indianised arts.

You can find past thesis topics from this concentration on our Research page.

Concentration in Japanology:

  • Prof. Dr. Martin Lehnert: Authority in religious systems of meaning; Buddhist commentary literature; music and rites; functions of language and tradition in esoteric Buddhism; problems of updating religious and philosophical texts in the present.
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Vollmer: Cultural and social history of pre-modern and modern Japan; Buddhism and society in Japan; questions of cultural identity in Japan; norms and values in Japanese culture (prohibition of killing, ideas of taboo and purity)
  • Prof. Dr. Evelyn Schulz: Literary history of Japan from its beginnings to the present, including socio-historical, political and cultural contexts; history and present of cities and architecture in Japan.

Concentration in Sinology:

  • Prof. Dr. Hans van Ess
  • Prof. Dr. Maria Khayutina
  • Prof. Dr. Marc Nürnberger
  • Prof. Dr. Max Oidtmann
  • Prof. Dr. Armin Selbitschka