Bill Mak

J-GLOBAL         Last updated: May 17, 2018 at 17:45
 
Avatar
Name
Bill Mak
Nickname
Bill Mak
E-mail
bill.m.makgmail.com
Affiliation
Kyoto University
Research funding number
50747863

Profile

With a background in science, I received my early training in linguistics, specializing in Sanskrit at McGill University. My PhD thesis, submitted to Peking University, consisted of a philological analysis of an eighth century Buddhist commentary utilizing Sanskrit manuscripts. Currently, my research focuses in deciphering ancient Sanskrit and Chinese texts related to astral science. In particular, I am interested in how this once esteemed body of prescientific knowledge disseminated and flourished throughout Asia. My research examines how ideas are transmitted and transformed across cultures and other kinds of boundaries. Specific topics include the sources and development of Buddhist astral science, Indo-Greek astronomical and astrological texts in Sanskrit, and Southeast Asian astral science.

Research Areas

 
 

Academic & Professional Experience

 
Sep 2014
 - 
Today
Associate Professor, Institute for Research in Humanities / Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University
 
Sep 2013
 - 
Aug 2014
Research Fellow, JSPS / Kyoto Sangyo University
 
May 2013
 - 
Sep 2013
Part-time lecturer/Foreigner Research Associate, Department of Indological Studies, Kyoto University
 
Jan 2011
 - 
Apr 2012
Visiting Assistant Professor, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong
 

Awards & Honors

 
Nov 2015
FHS Asia Essay Prize, History of Science Society
 
2015.11.21, San Francisco, USA.
Prize for "Yusi Jing - A Treatise of ‘Western’ Astral Science in Chinese and its versified Version Xitian yusi jing." published in SCIAMVS 15 (2014): 105-169.

Published Papers

 
The First Two Chapters of Mīnarāja’s Vṛddhayavanajātaka
Bill Mak
Zinbun   48 1-31   2018   [Refereed]
Tithikarmaguṇa in Gārgīyajyotiṣa – Tithi worship according to a number of early sources
Bill Mak
Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies   66(3) 985-991   2018   [Refereed]
Geslani, Marko, Bill M. Mak, Michio Yano, Kenneth Zysk
History of Science in South Asia   5(1) 151-191   2017   [Refereed]
Astral Science of the East Syriac Christians in China during the late first millennium AD
Bill Mak
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry   16(4) 87-92   Apr 2016   [Refereed]
Matching Stellar Ideas to the Stars: Remarks on the Translation of Indian jyotiṣa in the Chinese Buddhist Canon
Bill Mak
Cross-Cultural Transmission of Buddhist Texts: Theories and Practices of Translation   139-158   2016

Conference Activities & Talks

 
Gargasaṃhitā and Vedic astral science in China – Early evidences of foreign transmission of the science of the Heavens from the ‘West’ [Invited]
Bill Mak
Joseph Needham Symposium on Early Cultural & Scientific Transmission across Eurasia with China   27 Mar 2018   
Garga and the Astronomical Chapters of the Gārgīyajyotiṣa
Bill Mak
The 228th meeting of the American Oriental Society   17 Mar 2018   
A Critical Edition of the Jyotiṣa Materials of the Gargasaṃhitā
Bill Mak
Sanskrit Śāstra Literature: Perspectives & Relevance   15 Jan 2018   
Visualizing time and space through foreign eyes in Medieval China – From the Śārdūlakarṇāvadāna to Amoghavajra’s Xiuyao jing
Bill Mak
Geballe Research Workshop, Asian Representations and Construction of Space (ARCS)   15 Mar 2018   
The edition of Gargasaṃhitā and its relation to the Buddhist astral texts [Invited]
Bill Mak
20 Jan 2018   
The transmission of Buddhist astral science across Asia
Bill Mak
19 Jan 2018   
The “science” of astrology in Thai Buddhism: Past and present
Bill Mak
SEASIA 2017   17 Dec 2017   
Greco-Babylonian astral science in Asia - Patterns of dissemination and transformation
Bill Mak
raditional Sciences in Asia 2017 -- East-West Encounter in the Science of Heaven and Earth   26 Oct 2017   
The Greco-Indian theories of daśā and Ptolemy’s Division of Time [Invited]
Bill Mak
Lecture at Università di Genova. Genova, Italy   10 Sep 2017   
Dorotheus and Duliyusi jing - Perso-Sogdian astrology in China [Invited]
Bill Mak
Lectures at University of Bologna. Ravenna, Italy   8 Sep 2017   
Benefic and malefic planets in the Gargasaṃhitā and other early Greco-Indian astral texts [Invited]
Bill Mak
Lectures at University of Bologna. Ravenna, Italy   7 Sep 2017   
Diglossic continuum in Indian intellectual culture as seen in early jyotiṣa works
Bill Mak
Seminar presentation in the working group “Thinking in Many Tongues” organized by Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Berlin). Università Ca' Foscari. Venice, Italy   4 Sep 2017   
Tithikarmaguṇa in Gārgīyajyotiṣa – Tithi worship according to a number of early sources
Bill Mak
The 64th annual conference of the Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies   2 Sep 2017   
Sanskrit inscriptions and manuscripts in Yunnan, a preliminary survey [Invited]
Bill Mak
Lecture at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Division of Humanities   30 Aug 2017   
The Buddhist transmission of Grahamātṛkādhāraṇī and other planetary astral texts
Bill Mak
XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies   21 Aug 2017   
Medieval Chinese descriptions of Sanskrit: Dao'an, Xuanzang, Huili and Yijing
Bill Mak
Thinking in Many Tongues   9 May 2017   
Transmission of Greco-Babylonian planetary science and horoscopy in India and China [Invited]
Bill Mak
Inaugural Otto Neugebauer Lecture in the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity   2 May 2017   John Steele
The science of the planets was developed some centuries before the Common Era in Babylonia and later, Greece, Near East and Hellenistic Egypt, out of the observers’ interest in their unusual movement and the belief that planetary motion was connec...
The lineage of ‘foreign’ planetary worship in ninth-century China – ritualistic elements of the Qiyao rangzai jue 七曜攘災決
Bill Mak
Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies   16 Mar 2017   
For centuries since Buddhism arrived in China during the early centuries of the first millennium, the Chinese Buddhists adopted and followed an older form of Vedic cosmology and astral beliefs, which is characterized by Sumeru cosmology and a lun...
Bill Mak
Cosmos, East and West: Astral Sciences in South and East Asia and their Interaction with the Greco-Roman World   27 Feb 2017   Bill Mak, Lillian Tseng
A distinct genre of hybrid Greek astral science emerged when the South and East Asians came into contact with Greek science. The picture has been complicated by various paths of transmissions which lie between these cultures. Rather than pure tran...
Bill Mak
31 Jan 2017   Alexander Jones
Described by the Indian scholar and Sanskritist P. V. Kane as “a problem not satisfactorily solved,” the introduction of a new form of astral science in India during the early centuries of the first millennium C.E. which resembles its Greco-Babylo...
Lingvo-politiko kaj Universalaj Alfabetoj en Ĉinio [Language Politics and Universal Alphabets in China, in Esperanto]
Bill Mak
17 Jan 2017   
Fanyu qianziwen梵語千字文 and Chinese-Sanskrit lexicons
Bill Mak
Thinking in Many Tongues   14 Dec 2016   
Bill Mak
9 Dec 2016   Lucia Dolce, Antonello Palumbo
Among the extant works of Amoghavajra, one of the most prolific Buddhist translators in Sino-Indian Buddhism and a patriarch of the East Asian lineage of esoteric Buddhism, is a voluminous astral compendium popularly known as the Xiuyao jing 宿曜經, ...
Monks and magic: Greek and Indian astral divination in Tang China [Invited]
Bill Mak
28 Nov 2016   Lisa Raphals
Bill Mak
11 Nov 2016   Marcus Bingenheimer
Since the Six Dynasties, a large influx of foreigners from different parts of Eurasia brought to China exotic arts and goods, novel ideas and knowledge. Among these was the astral science of the “West”, a highly idiosyncratic body of astronomical ...
Thai astronomy and astrology
Bill Mak
Buddhist Astronomy Research Seminar No.143   20 May 2016   
Les stèles bouddhiques de Pairi Daiza et le royaume médiéval de Dali (Yunnan) [Invited]
Bill Mak, Christophe Vielle
Les stèles bouddhiques de Pairi Daiza et le royaume médiéval de Dali (Yunnan)   4 May 2016   Christophe Vielle
Siddham — Sacred Indian Script in Buddhist Asia [Invited]
Bill Mak
Oriental Lecture Series 2016   3 May 2016   
Buddhist astral science in Asia – Origins, development and current practices [Invited]
Bill Mak
29 Apr 2016   
Kumārajīva’s astral learning as seen in his translation/compilation of Dazhidulun
Bill Mak
International seminar on Kumārajīva studies   24 Apr 2016   
Astral Science from the Near East to China in the late first millennium AD –Dorotheus in Pahlavī and Duli Yusi Jing in Chinese
Bill Mak
SEAC 2015 Annual Conference   9 Nov 2015   
Bill Mak
The 68th Internacia Kongresa Universitato (IKU), 100th Universala Kongreso de Esperanto   25 Jul 2015   International Academy of Sciences (AIS)
La budhistoj ne nur predikas pri moralo kaj liberiĝo. Ili instruis ankaŭ pri nia mondo kaj aliaj mondoj. Kio estas la budhisma kosmologio? Ĉu ĝi kongruas al la moderna scienca vidpunkto? Dum la prelego, oni vidas tra la 2500-jara historio de la re...
Bill Mak
The 14th International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia   6 Jul 2015   International Society for the History of East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine (ISHEASTM)
Bill Mak
16th World Sanskrit Conference   29 Jun 2015   International Association of Sanskrit Studies (IASS)
Bill Mak
The Twelfth Biennial History of Astronomy workshop   24 Jun 2015   University of Notre Dame
For nearly two millennia, the Buddhists have been responsible for disseminating various bodies of astral sciences from India and Central Asia to other parts of Asia, most notably China, Japan and Southeast Asia. While the astral knowledge of the B...
Bill Mak
La 6-a Publika Prelegkunveno memore al Japana Tago de Esperanto   21 Jun 2015   Japana Esperanto-Instituto
Bill Mak
The 19th Asian Studies Conference Japan   20 Jun 2015   Meiji Gakuin University
Bill Mak
International Workshop on Traditional Sciences in Asia 2015   17 Jun 2015   Kyoto University Institute for Research in Humanities / Hakubi Center for Advanced Research
The Evolution of Buddhism in Hong Kong and its Transformation during the Japanese Occupation Period (1941–1945) [Invited]
Bill Mak
International Conference on the History of Hong Kong   11 Apr 2015   The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Bill Mak
Society of Hong Kong History   8 Apr 2015   Society of Hong Kong History
Ritualistic cyclicity in Indo-Greek astral science – expressions for various modes of time measurement in the Yavanajātaka [Invited]
Bill Mak
Workshop on astral sciences, mathematics and rituals   20 Mar 2015   Université Paris 7 Laboratoire SPHERE
The Transmission and Transformation of Ptolemy, Dorotheus and other forms of Greco-Babylonian astral science across Eurasia [Invited]
Bill Mak
Hakubi Seminar   3 Feb 2015   Hakubi Center for Advanced Research
Tetrablibos, Yavanajātaka and Yusi jing -- The Transmission of Indo-Greco Astral Science from the "West" to East Asia [Invited]
Bill Mak
The Third Indological and Buddhological Conference, Chinese Academy of Social Science, Beijing, China   16 Oct 2014   
The Transmission of Buddhist Astral Science from India to East Asia - The Gandhāran and Central Asian Connections
Bill Mak
The XVII Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies   20 Aug 2014   Universität Wien
Vision, Disillusion and Reconciliation: The Career of Utsuki Nishū in Hong Kong during the Japanese Occupation Period (1941–1945)
Bill Mak
The 18th Asian Studies Conference Japan   21 Jun 2014   
Planetary theories, Ephemerides and Horoscopes: Reception of Indian Astral Science in China and Japan
Bill Mak
International Conference on Conceptualizing India-China Connection   4 Nov 2013   
The oldest Indo-Greek text in Sanskrit" revisited - additional new readings from the newly discovered manuscript of the Yavanajātaka
Bill Mak
The 60th annual conference of the Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies   1 Sep 2013   Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies
The Book of Four Gates 四門經and Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos
Bill Mak
The Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia: Texts & Artefacts, Institutions & Practices   4 Jul 2013   Freie Universität Berlin
The History of Psuedo-planets in China (II): from 11th to 20th century C.E.
Bill Mak
The 8th International Convention of Asia Scholars: The East-West Crossroads   24 Jun 2013   The International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS)
The Indian Astronomy in the Yavanajātaka
Bill Mak
2 Jun 2013   
The History of Psuedo-planets in China (I): from 2nd to 10th century C.E.
Bill Mak
The Bright Dark Ages: Comparative and Connective Perspectives. Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore (NUS)   27 Feb 2013   
The transmission of Greek astral science to India reconsidered - Critical remarks on the contents and the newly discovered manuscript of the Yavanajātaka
Bill Mak
Conference of the Association for the Study of the History of Indian Thought   22 Dec 2012   
The Transmission of Astral Science from India to China - lunar mansions and luminaries in Chinese Buddhist Texts
Bill Mak
Second Indological and Buddhological Seminar (China). National Chengchi University. Taipei, Taiwan   9 Nov 2012   
The Hinduization of the Genethliacal Astrology – from Yavanajātaka to Bṛhajjātaka
Bill Mak
Vedica Neapolitana. Lecture at the University of Naples <L'Orientale>. Procida, Italy   5 Oct 2012   
Matching stellar ideas to the Stars – Remarks on the translation of the Indian jyotiṣa terms nakṣkatra, rāśi and graha in Chinese Buddhist Canon
Bill Mak
Cross-Cultural Transmission of Buddhist Texts: Theories and Practices of Translation. University of Hamburg   23 Jul 2012   
Theravāda teachings and meditation in Hong Kong
Bill Mak
3rd World Buddhist Forum, Hong Kong   26 Apr 2012   
Sūryagarbhaparivarta and Candragarbhaparivarta of Mahāsaṃnipātasūtra - Indian Jyotiṣa literature through the lens of Chinese Buddhist Canon
Bill Mak
15th World Sanskrit Conference, Delhi. Section: Scientific Literature   9 Jan 2012   

Research Grants & Projects

 
Overlapping cosmologies of pre-modern Asia
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS): Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Scientific Research [C])
Project Year: Apr 2015 - Mar 2018    Investigator(s): Bill Mak