Sinae Kim


Sinae Kim is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. Her research primarily focuses on the historical study of religious practices in medieval China, particularly examining the complex relationship between Buddhist scriptures, commentaries, popular religious rituals, and oral traditions within that historical context. Sinae’s research encompasses various aspects of Chinese Buddhist preaching culture, including rituals, oral performances, vernacular literature, and their connection to Dunhuang manuscripts, stele inscriptions, hagiographies, popular narratives, and archaeological findings. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “Preaching Buddhism in Late Medieval China (7th-11th centuries): Sutra Lecture Texts and Performance,” delves into three key dimensions of popular preaching for lay audiences: 1) the rhetoric of homiletics employed by Buddhist preachers; 2) the intersection of ritual, materiality, and performance; and 3) the exploration of ideas and values inherent in preaching. Through her work, she seeks to shed light on the rich tapestry of religious practices and beliefs in medieval China, particularly in the context of Buddhism.

Sinae has received research fellowships and awards from Princeton University, including support from the East Asian Studies Program, the Religion Department, and the Center for Culture, Society, and Religion. During the 2021-2022 academic year, she was honored with the Dissertation Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. She has also received the Outstanding Essay Award twice, in 2016 and 2018, from the “From the Ground Up: Buddhism and East Asian Religions (FROGBEAR) International Young Scholars’ Forum on Buddhism and East Asian Culture.” Currently, she holds a Graduate Research and a Dissertation Completion Fellowship at Princeton’s Center for Culture, Society, and Religion. Sinae has shared her research findings at various conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS), and the American Oriental Society (AOS).

Sinae earned an M.A. in Religious Studies from Princeton University. She also holds an M.A. and a B.A. in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature from Seoul National University. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program at Princeton, she was a Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where she studied religion.