Caleb Carter

PhD Candidate
Department: Asian Languages & Cultures

Caleb Carter received his BA (2000) in Philosophy from Colorado College, his MA (2008) in Buddhist Studies from UCLA, and is currently finishing his dissertation. His main focus lies in Japanese religions, particularly Shugendō (Japan’s tradition of mountain asceticism). Other interests include Esoteric Buddhism, Chinese religions, place studies, pilgrimage, and gender, intellectual history. Caleb’s research focuses on the formation of religious thought, practice and schools in the mountains of Japan from the fifteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries.  Centered on the site of Mt. Togakushi (Nagano Prefecture, central Japan), his dissertation considers the emergence of Shugendō as well as a cult devoted to a nine-headed dragon.  He conducted this research at Keio University (Tokyo) and Mt. Togakushi under fellowships from the Japan Foundation (2011-2012) and the Fulbright-Hays (2012-2013). Outside of studies, he’s usually hanging out with his kids and occasionally outside rock climbing or attempting to surf.


Center for Buddhist Studies • 11385 Bunche Hall • Box 951487 • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Tel: (310) 825-2089 • Fax: (310) 206-3555 • Email:

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