Andrew Macomber

  • Assistant Professor of East Asian Religions

Areas of Study


  • PhD, Columbia University, 2019
  • MPhil, Columbia University, 2014
  • MA, Columbia University, 2013
  • BA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2010


In his research, Andrew Macomber explores the intersections of the body, religion, and medicine in premodern Japan. His in-progress monograph, Cadaverous: Treating Corpse-Disease and the Demonic Patient in Medieval Japanese Buddhism, examines Buddhist ritual responses to the emergence of unfamiliar afflictions of the body in the late twelfth century, and traces the longer-term impact of those responses on the culture of healing and the imagination of disease in Japan through the sixteenth centuries. He is coeditor of Buddhist Healing in Medieval China and Japan (2020, University of Hawai‘i Press) with C. Pierce Salguero.

His book project is based on three years of archival research in Japan, conducted with the support of grants from the Japan Foundation, the Japanese government, and the Takeda Science Foundation. During this time, he was affiliated with the Research Center for Cultural Heritage and Texts at Nagoya University and the Kyōu Shooku library in Osaka.

His publications in Japanese include a chapter on the Buddhist dimensions of aromatic substances for an edited volume on intoxication and disease in Japanese history, and a snapshot of his research on Buddhist forms of moxibustion for Shinkyū OSAKA, a leading journal for acupuncturists and practitioners of traditional medicine.


Andrew Macomber Publishes Encyclopedia Article

April 29, 2022

Assistant Professor of East Asian Religions Andrew Macomber published an encyclopedia article, "Buddhism and Medicine in Premodern Japan," for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion.

Andrew Macomber Publishes Two Book Reviews

January 27, 2022

Assistant Professor of East Asian Religions Andrew Macomber published two book reviews, one on a Korean deity in Japanese Buddhism for Monumenta Nipponica, and another on Buddhism and medicine in premodern in Japan for Asian Medicine.

Andrew Macomber Presents at the University of Venice

November 1, 2021

Assistant Professor of East Asian Religions Andrew Macomber gave a presentation via Zoom for the international conference, “Religions, Thoughts, and Health in Asia,” held at the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca' Foscari, University of Venice, on October 26, 2021. His talk, "Everything Evil in You: Metapersonal Irritants in the Buddhist Immune System," explored the complicated relationship between disease-causing demons and patients in medieval Japan.


Andrew Macomber publishes book on Buddhist healing

September 18, 2020

Andrew Macomber published a book, Buddhist Healing in Medieval China and Japan, with co-editor C. Pierce Salguero (University of Hawai'i Press, August 2020). He also contributes a chapter to the volume, "Ritualizing Moxibustion in the Early Medieval Tendai-Jimon Lineage," which examines how Buddhists sought to treat "corpse-vector disease," a mysterious illness that began afflicting aristocrats and emperors in the late twelfth century, through a combination of ritual therapeutics and Chinese medicine.