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Prof. Dr. Peter Schwieger

Principal Investigator

Peter Schwieger

University of Bonn
Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA)
Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies
Brühler Straße 7
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 7465


Current Position

Professor of Tibetology


For several years, Peter Schwieger’s research has particularly dealt with the political and social history of Tibetan societies from the 17th to the early 20th century. The various forms of rulership on the Tibetan plateau – reaching from areas in modern India and Pakistan in the West up to areas now belonging to the Chinese provinces Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai in the East and Northeast – included stratified societies with different balances between aristocratic and clerical elites. In all of these societies, the social hierarchy was connected through mutual dependencies and was primarily based on an agricultural economy. No matter how remote some of these societies appear at first glance, they were all embedded in a supra-regional network of political and economic relations.

12 monographs, 43 articles, numerous invited talks and lectures, 2 edited volumes.


  • 1995                           Habilitation and Venia legendi in Tibetology
  • 1977–1982                 Ph.D. in Tibetology
  • 1972–1977                 M.A. in Comparative Religious Studies, Tibetology and Philosophy, University of Bonn, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2001–present             Professor of Tibetology, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2001                           Guest Professor, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  • 2000–2001                 Adjunct Professor, University of Marburg, Germany
  • 1995–2000                 Adjunct Professor, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 1978–2001                 Research Associate, Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections

Scholarships and Awards

  • 2016–2018                 Opus magnum scholarship of the VW Foundation

Participation in Academic Centers and Consortium Projects

  • 2016–present             subproject "Zentrum oder Peripherie: Herrschaft zwischen gedachter und realer Ordnung in tibetischen
                                       Gesellschaften am Beispiel der Namgyal-Dynastie Ladakhs (16.-19. Jh.)” ["Center or Periphery. Rule
                                       between Imagined and Real Order in Tibetan Societies. The Namgyal Dynasty of Ladakh (16th-19th
                                       Century)] – DFG Collaborative Research Center 1167 “Macht and Herrschaft – Premodern Configurations
                                       in a Transcultural Perspective” 
  • 2016–present             jointly with Prof. Ch. Ramble, Paris (EPHE), Head of the German-French research project "Social Status
                                       in the Tibetan World"
  • 2012–2015                 together with Prof. Ch. Ramble, Paris (EPHE), Head of the German-French research project "A Social
                                       History of Tibetan Societies from the 17th to the 20th Century"
  • 2002–present             Member of the management committee of the Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German
    , sub-project leader for the cataloging of the Tibetica
  • 2002–2005                 Head of the project "Digital acquisition and processing of Tibetan documents and their publication on the
                                       Internet" (DFG)
  • 1999–2001                 German-Chinese research project "Digitale Erfassung tibetischer Archivbestände in Lhasa und ihre
                                       Bereitstellung im Internet“ ["Digitalization of Tibetan Archives in Lhasa and its Provision for the Internet"]
                                       (project funding by DFG and GTZ)
  • 1992–1993                 Participation in the DFG Priority Program "Siedlungsprozesse und Staatenbildungen im tibetischen
                                       Himalaya" ["Settlement Processes and State Formations in the Tibetan Himalayas”] (headed by Prof.
                                       Haffner, Giessen, and Prof. Schuh, Bonn, Germany)
  • 1978–1988                 Member of the DFG Collaborative Research Center (SFB 12) "Central Asia" at University of Bonn, Germany

Third-Party Funding

  • German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche (National Agency for Research (ANR))
  • GTZ
  • Thyssen Foundation
  • Henkel Foundation
  • and more

Selected Publications

  • The Dalai Lama and the Emperor of China. A Political History of the Tibetan Institution of Reincarnation. New York 2015.
  • Handbuch zur Grammatik der klassischen tibetischen Schriftsprache. [Handbook on the Grammar of Classical Tibetan. Second Corrected and Extended Edition]. Halle 2009.
  • Teilung und Reintegration des Königreichs von Ladakh im 18. Jahrhundert. Der Staatsvertrag zwischen Ladakh und Purig aus dem Jahr 1753. [Division and Reintegration of the Kingdom of Ladakh in the 18th Century. The Treaty between Ladakh and Purig from 1753]. Bonn 1999.
  • Die mTshur-phu-Ausgabe der Sammlung Rin-chen gter-mdzod chen-mo, Bände 14 bis 34. [The mTshur-phu-Edition of the Collection Rin-chen gter-mdzod chen-mo. Volume 14-34]. (=VOHD, vol. XI, 11). Stuttgart 1995.
  • Die mTshur-phu-Ausgabe der Sammlung Rin-chen gter-mdzod chen-mo, Bände 1 bis 14. [The mTshur-phu-Edition of the Collection Rin-chen gter-mdzod chen-mo. Volume 1-14]. (=VOHD, vol. XI, 10). Stuttgart 1990.
  • Tibetisches Erzählgut aus Brag-g.yab. Texte mit Übersetzungen, grammatischem Abriß und Glossar. [Tibetan Folk Tales from Brag-g.yab. Texts with Translations, Grammatical Outline and Glossary]. Bonn 1989.
  • With L. S. Dagyab: Die ersten dGe-lugs-pa-Hierarchen von Brag-g.yab (1572-1692). [The First dGe-lugs-pa Hierarchs of Brag-g.yab (1572-1692)]. Bonn 1989.
  • Die Werksammlungen Kun-tu bzan-po´i dgons-pa zan-thal, Ka-dag ran-byun ran-sar und mKha´-´gro gsan-ba ye-ses-kyi rgyud. [The Collected Works Kun-tu bzaṅ-po´i dgoṅs-pa zaṅ-thal, Ka-dag raṅ-byuṅ raṅ-sar und mKha´-´gro gsaṅ-ba ye-ses-kyi rgyud].(=VOHD, vol. XI, 9). Stuttgart 1985.
  • With J.K. Phukhang: Erzählgut aus A-mdo und Brag-g.yab. [Folk Tales from A-mdo and Brag-g.yab]. St. Augustin 1982.
  • Ein tibetisches Wunschgebet um Wiedergeburt in der Sukhavati. [A Tibetan Aspiration Prayer for Rebirth in the Sukhavati]. St. Augustin 1978.
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