Professor Welter’s area of academic study is Chinese Buddhism, and he has published in the area of Japanese Buddhism as well. His main research focuses on the study of Buddhist texts in the transition from the late Tang (9th century) to the Song dynasty (10th-13th centuries). In recent years, he has published Monks, Rulers, and Literati: The Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism (Oxford, 2006), The Linji lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan’s Records of Sayings Literature (Oxford, 2008), and Yongming Yanshou’s Conception of Chan in the Zongjing lu: A Special Transmission within the Scriptures (Oxford, 2011), in addition to numerous articles. His work also encompasses Buddhist interactions with Neo-Confucianism and literati culture. He is currently finishing a project on the social and institutional history of Buddhism as conceived through a text compiled in the early Song dynasty, Zanning’s Topical History of the Buddhist Clergy (Seng shilue). Stemming from this latter research interest, Professor Welter has also developed a broader interest in Chinese administrative policies toward religion, including Chinese notions of secularism and their impact on religious beliefs and practices, leading to a co-edited volume (with Jeffrey Newmark), Religion, Culture, and the Public Sphere in China and Japan (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017). His is currently developing a project, "The Hangzhou Region and the Creation of East Asian Region," in conjunction with Zhejiang University, the Hangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, and the Hangzhou Buddhist Academy.
Buddhism in China, Korea and Japan with emphasis on the relationship between East Asian Buddhist thought and practice and the various historical contexts in which they emerged.
Buddhism in China, Korea and Japan with emphasis on the relationship between East Asian Buddhist thought and practice and the various historical contexts in which they emerged. Graduate-level requirements include assigned readings in primary Chinese or Japanese sources and in modern Chinese and/or Japanese secondary sources, together with a research paper based in part on such sources.