Vincent Tournier

Vincent Tournier is Maître de conférences at the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) since January 2018.

Born in 1982, Tournier studied first at the University of Strasbourg, where he completed two BAs in History and Anthropology (2003), and one MA in Sciences of Antiquity (2005). He then joined the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris for his doctoral training, under the supervision of Cristina Scherrer-Schaub. His doctoral thesis, on the The formation of the Mahāvastu and the development of the conceptions pertaining to the bodhisattva and his career (2012), was subsequently revised and published (in 2017) with the EFEO. During his PhD, Tournier carried out research stays at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden (as Gonda fellow) and at the International Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Tokyo (as JSPS fellow). He has subsequently worked as post-doctoral researcher at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (2012-2013). Before joining the EFEO, he was, from 2013 to 2017, the Seiyu Kiriyama Lecturer in Buddhist Studies and Director of the Centre of Buddhist Studies at SOAS University of London.

Tournier's main field of interest is the history of Buddhism in Ancient and Early Medieval South Asia. He has investigated models and figures of human perfection; the history of Buddhist schools, lineages, and centres; processes of scriptural formation and authentication; Buddhist cosmology and narrative representations of the past; patronage and donors' aspirations. Employing philological and historical methods, he works with a wide range of texts, from literary compositions to scholastic treatises. He makes use of manuscripts and epigraphical materials from the Indian subcontinent (including present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan), Sri Lanka, and Nepal.
His most recent project focuses on the history of Buddhism in the Deccan, especially in Āndhra and Maharashtra. He is thus the co-editor, with Arlo Griffiths, of the online corpus Early Inscriptions of Āndhradeśa ( His recent work focuses especially two issues: the formation, spread, and doctrinal profiles of Buddhist lineages of South India; the evolution of patronage practices and religious aspirations in the first half of the first millenium of the Common Era.

Vincent Tournier
Vincent Tournier

Maître de conférences

Histoire et traditions textuelles du bouddhisme en Asie du Sud

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