Background and activities

Lewis is a philologist of Tibetan Studies and a historian of Buddhism, who is also responsible for teaching on the religions of South and Central Asia at NTNU.

He received his MA and PhD from SOAS, London, in 2004 and 2011. His thesis charted the Buddhist transformation of Tibetan historiography between the eighth and the twelfth centuries. Until 2017 he conducted postdoctoral research on Tibetan kingship at LMU Munich and the Free University Berlin, and on reflections of India in early Tibetan Buddhist historiography and material culture as part of the European Research Council-funded project “Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State” at the British Museum. His book The Zangs gling ma: The First Padmasambhava Biography was published in 2014 (International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies). 

Before coming to NTNU, he was for one year Replacement Professorial Chair of Central Asian Language and Culture at the University of Bonn.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Part of book/report

  • Doney, Lewis. (2018) Padmasambhava in the Conjured Past. The Second Buddha: Master of Time.


  • Doney, Lewis. (2019) Large Temple Bells of the Tubo Period in the Context of Exchange with Silk Road and East Asian States. International Symposium on Cultural Exchange Along the Silk Road (6th to 9th Century) . Dunhuang Academy; Dunhuang. 2019-10-17 - 2019-10-21.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2019) Old Tibetan Prayer: An Attempt at Classification. the 15th IATS Seminar, Paris ; 2019-07-07 - 2019-07-13.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2019) Royal and Religious Symbols in Early Historical Descriptions of the Tubo Period. Tsinghua University Lecture Series . Tsinghua University; Beijing. 2019-10-24 - 2019-10-24.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2019) The Lama is in the Bar: Crazy Ascetics and their Royal Foils in Early Tibetan Buddhism. the 17th annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religion in Tartu ; 2019-06-25 - 2019-06-29.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2019) The Nachlass of Edmund Fürholzer in Bonn. the 15th IATS Seminar, Paris ; 2019-07-07 - 2019-07-13.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2018) Are Imperial Deities Evidence of Imperial ‘Religion’?. The Social and the Religious in the Making of Tibetan Societies: New Perspectives on Imperial Tibet . Austrian Academy of Sciences; Vienna. 2018-11-21 - 2018-11-23.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2018) Dharma and Dar ma: Indic Influence on Tibetan Language and Culture as Evidenced in the dBa’ bzhed History. Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Primary Sources from the Premodern World . Leiden University; Leiden. 2018-08-27 - 2018-08-31.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2018) Illuminating Manuscripts: Folios of the Maṇi bka’ ’bum tradition. International Seminar of Young Tibetologists . University of St. Petersburg; St. Petersburg. 2018-09-03 - 2018-09-07.
  • Doney, Lewis. (2018) Padmasambhava and History. Perspectives on Padmasambhava . Rubin Museum of Art; New York. 2018-10-13 - 2018-10-15.