Picture of George Keyworth

George Keyworth Ph.D. UCLA, MA & BA (Honors) UC Santa Barbara

Associate Professor

Faculty Member in History

Arts 714

Research Area(s)

  • Medieval China
  • Medieval Japan
  • Religion in China
  • Religion in Japan
  • Medieval Manuscripts in China and Japan
  • Buddhism
  • Daoism
  • Shinto

About me

Dr. Keyworth conducts research in the areas of medieval Chinese and Japanese religious history. He has published on and specializes in three areas. (1) Religion, literature, poetry, and history of the Northern Song dynasty in China (960-1127) with special attention to the poet-Chan Buddhist monk Juefan Huihong (1071-1128) and the Japanese monk-pilgrim Jōjin (1011-1081). (2) Buddhist scriptures written or compiled in China (rather than in India or Central Asia, e.g., the Chinese Shoulengyan jing 首楞嚴經, T no. 945) and preserved in manuscript form in China (Dunhuang) and Japan. (3) Collections of Buddhist scriptures (yiqie jing, issaikyō 一切經) hand-copied for Shintō shrines during the 12th century in Japan (e.g., Matsuo 松尾大社 [Kyoto] and Atsuta 熱田神宮 [Nagoya]). He has supervised graduate students studying the history of medieval and modern religion in China, Japan, and Korea, Daoism, and Buddhist studies.

He also leads cluster workshop 2.2 "'Secondary' Producers, 'Primary' Roles" (2017-2019) of an international, multidisciplinary SSHRC partnership grant funded project led by Dr. CHEN Jinhua (UBC), "From the Ground Up: Buddhism and East Asian Religions," http://frogbear.org/ (2016-2023). This cluster is tasked with investigating two questions: what roles did editors, scribes, translators, and readers play in canon-making of Buddhist literature in Chinese, and how did non-religious factors shape this process? Workshops are held in Japan, Korea, and China.

Teaching & Supervision

for Religious Studies, 2011-2017:

RLST 111.3 Asian Religions

RLST 217.3 Buddhism

RLST 230.3 Magic Medicine Metaphysics in Daoism

RLST 231.3 Confucianism

RLST 232.3 Women and Religion in Asia

RLST 234.3 Chinese Religions

RLST 235.3 Japanese Religions

RLST 330.3 Daoism

RLST 331.3 Neo-Confucianism


Buddhism China Japan Shinto religion

 Zen Buddhism in Medieval China and Japan; Buddhist and Daoist Spells in China and Japan; Esoteric Buddhism in China, Japan, and Tibet