Norwegian version of this page

Cultural Histories of Meditation

The project’s main focus is the practice of meditation techniques - elements involved in different techniques, and how these practices have developed in different cultural contexts.

About the project

To enable the comparison of diverging meditative traditions, the project will

  • include contributions from about 100 invited scholars studying different parts of Europe and Asia
  • work within different disciplines, such as theology and the history of religion, linguistics and philology, cultural history and literary studies, as well as anthropology and biomedicine

Such crosscultural and crossdisciplinary comparison aims at establishing a more culture-independent framework for describing and analysing meditative practices. This will in turn improve our understanding of the relation between technical practice and cultural interpretation.


This project will provide a global and comparative perspective to the historical study of meditative practices. It will focus on the relationship between concrete practice and cultural interpretation in all larger and some smaller meditative traditions. It is only by taking seriously the diversity involved that we can hope to discover features shared by many or perhaps all forms of meditation.

Published Jun 1, 2010 09:53 AM - Last modified May 16, 2014 01:29 PM


Halvor Eifring
+47-22857703, +47-47070268


Detailed list of participants