Bio


Michaela Mross specializes in Japanese Buddhism, with a particular emphasis on Sōtō Zen, Buddhist rituals, sacred music, as well as manuscript and print culture in premodern Japan. She has written numerous articles on kōshiki 講式 (Buddhist ceremonials) and co-edited a special issue of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies on kōshiki. Based on six-years full-time research in Japan, she is currently finishing a book on the development of kōshiki in the Sōtō school. She is further working on a monograph on eisanka 詠讃歌 (Buddhist hymns) and lay Buddhist choirs in contemporary Zen Buddhism. This project will showcase how music played a vital role in the modernization of Japanese Sōtō Zen Buddhism in the last seventy years.

Academic Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Religious Studies

Administrative Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University (2016 - Present)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley (2014 - 2016)
  • Research Associate (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin), Department of East Asian Studies, University of Göttingen, Germany (2013 - 2014)
  • Research Fellow, Headquarters of the Sōtō School, Tokyo, Japan (2012 - 2013)
  • Visiting Researcher, Research Institute for Japanese Music Historiography, Ueno Gakuen University, Japan (2007 - 2012)

Honors & Awards


  • Scholarship, Japanese Government (MEXT) (2008 - 2013)
  • Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service (2008 - 2010)
  • Karl H. Ditze Award for M.A. thesis, University of Hamburg (2008)
  • Fellowship, Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (2007 - 2008)

Program Affiliations


  • Center for East Asian Studies

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, Japanese Studies (2014)
  • M.A., University of Hamburg, Germany, Japanese Studies (2007)
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music, Boston, Professional Music (Performance and Jazz Composition) (2000)

2021-22 Courses


Stanford Advisees