Meir Shahar is the Shoul N. Eisenberg Chair for East Asian Affairs at Tel Aviv University
Meir Shahar received his undergraduate degree from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. After studying Chinese in Taipei, he went on to pursue graduate studies in the United States, receiving his PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 1992. Meir Shahar is currently the Shoul N. Eisenberg Chair for East Asian Affairs at Tel Aviv University
Meir Shahar’s research interests cover the fields of Chinese religion and literature, Chinese martial-arts history, the impact of Indian mythology upon Chinese culture and, most recently, Chinese animal studies.
Meir Shahar is the author of Crazy Ji: Chinese Religion and Popular Literature (Harvard University Asia Center, 1998); Oedipal God: The Chinese Nezha and his Indian Origins (University of Hawaii Press, 2015); and the Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts (University of Hawaii Press, 2008), which has been translated into numerous languages including Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, and Polish.
Meir Shahar’s Hebrew-Language publications include The Chinese Religion (הדת הסינית) (1998) and a translation of Wu Cheng’en’s Monkey and the Magic Gourd (קוף ודלעת הקסמים), with drawings by Noga Zhang Shahar (נגה ג'אנג שחר).
Meir Shahar is the coeditor (with Robert Weller) of Unruly Gods: Divinity and Society in China (University of Hawaii Press, 1996); the coeditor (with John Kieschnick) of India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought (The University of Pennsylvania Press,2013); the coeditor (with Yael Bentor) of Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism (Brill, 2017); and the coeditor (with Rotem Kowner, Guy Bar-oz, Michal Biran, and Gideon Shelach-Lavi) of Animals and Human Society in Asia: Historical, Cultural and Ethical Perspectives. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
Meir Shahar is currently writing a book titled: Chinese Animal Gods: Draft Animals, Buddhism, and Chinese Religion.