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Kim, Su Jung (Sujung), Ph.D. - Faculty Bio

Kim, Su Jung (Sujung), Ph.D.



(765) 658-4719

Harrison Hall, Room 309
Greencastle, IN

Religious Studies 

Associate Professor of Religious Studies


Sujung Kim is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePauw University. Her chief research field is Japanese Buddhism of the medieval period with a focus on transcultural interactions between Japanese and Korean Buddhism. Her interdisciplinary research interests also include Buddhist visual and material culture, as well as performative aspects of Buddhist narratives. She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University in 2014 (with distinction) and her M.A. in Buddhist Philosophy from Korea University in 2007. She joined the DePauw faculty in 2014 and since then she has taught a wide range of courses on Buddhism and East Asian religions. Her first monograph, Shinra Myojin and Buddhist Networks of the East Asian “Mediterranean,” (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2019) is not only the first monograph in any language on the Tendai Jimon school in Japanese Buddhism, but also the first book-length study in English to examine Korean connections in medieval Japanese religion. By shifting the paradigm from a land-centered vision to a sea-centered one, the work underlines the importance of a transcultural and interdisciplinary approach to the study of Buddhist deities. Currently, Sujung is working on her second book project titled, Korean Magical Medicine: Buddhist Healing Talismans in Choson Korea, which she investigates the religious, historical, and iconographic dimensions of healing talismans produced in Buddhist settings during the Choson period. Although its primary focus is Korean talismans, the book also locates itself in the broader East Asian context, aiming at showing the complex web of talismanic culture in East Asia. This book project is supported by ACLS/Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation (AY 2021–2022). 


REL479 Seminar in Religious Studies, Fall 2020-

REL370 Modern Buddhism, Spring 2019-

REL370 Buddhism and Gender, Spring 2015-

REL275 Buddhism and Film, Spring 2016-

REL259 East Asian Religions, Spring 2015-

REL258 Buddhism, Fall 2014-

REL130 Intro to Religions, Fall 2014-

FYS Thinking About Religion (Theory and Method), Fall 2018-


Selected Publications:


Shinra Myojin and Buddhist Networks of the East Asian “Mediterranean” (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2019). 


Korean Magicial Medicine: Buddhist Healing Talismans in Choson Korea (in preparation)

Book Chapters

"Reviving Wonhyo and Revamping Korean Buddhism, " Jin Y. Park and Sumi Lee eds., Korean Buddhism: Selected Readings from Primary Texts. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press (forthcoming).


“The Lovelorn Lady and the Stony Monk: Women, Sexuality, and Imagination in the Kegon engi emaki.” James

McRae and Robert Scott eds., Introduction to Buddhist East Asia: An Interdisciplinary Resource (Albany, NY: SUNY, 2023): 237-254.

“Flesh in the Closet: ‘The Secret Wife’ in Korean Buddhism,” Hwansoo Kim and Jin Y. Park eds., New Perspectives in Modern Korean Buddhism: Nationalism, Practice, Women, and Clerical Marriage (NY: SUNY, 2022): 157–180.

“Ven. Pomnyun’s Jungto Society: A Buddhist Activist Society in South Korea,” Sallie B. King ed., Buddhist  Visions of the Good Life for All (London: Routledge, 2021): 135-153. 


“Frogs Looking Beyond a Pond: Shinra Myojin in the East Asian Mediterranean Network,” Fabio Rambelli ed., The Sea and the Sacred in Japan: Aspects of Maritime Religion (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018): 79–87.



"Sacred Signs and Sacred Labor: Safe Childbirth Talismans in Choson Korea," Asian Medicine, Anna Andreeva ed. 19, 1 (2024, forthcoming). 

 "Pujok ul mannada: Choson Pulgyo e so ui ansan pujok," (Seeing Talismans: Safe Childbirth Talismans in Choson Buddhism), Misulsa wa munhwa yusan 10 (2022): 69–93. (in Korean)

"A Star God is Born: Chintaku Reifujin Talismans in Japanese Religions," Religions (special issue on various aspects of medieval Japanese religion), Bernard Faure and Andrea Castiglioni eds., 13, 5 (2002): https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13050431

“Skanda, The Multifaceted God: Skanda in Korean Buddhism and Beyond,” Korea Journal of Buddhist Studies

66, 3 (March, 2021): 49-94. *Award winning paper ($3,000) selected by the Korean Association of Buddhist Studies* (In English)


“Tendai Jimon kara mitta Tendai bukkyo: Shinra Myojin to Tendai Jimon [Tendai Buddhism seen from the history of the Tendai Jimon school: Shinra Myojin and Tendai Jimon],” Tendai gakuho (Journal of Tendai Buddhism), Special issue No. 2 (December, 2018): 29–41. (In Japanese)


“Miguk Pulgyo hakgye ui ch’oegun yon’gu tonghyang gwa kwaje (2010-2017) [The State of the Field of Buddhist Studies in the United States, 2010–2017],” Pojo Sasang 49 (November, 2017): 1–54. (In Korean)


Encyclopedia/Handbook Entries

"Buddhist Talismans" in Oxford Bibliographies (2023), DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195393521-0286


"Choson Buddhism" in Oxford Bibliographies (forthcoming)


“Korea I: 372-935,” Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Vol. 4: History), (Leiden: Brill, 2023):297-313.

“Sea,” The New Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions, Jolyon B. Thomas and Matthew D. McMullen eds., Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press (forthcoming)