Nina Mirnig

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  • Dr. Nina Mirnig

Nina Mirnig (born 1982) received her BA (2004), M.St. (2005) and D.Phil. (2010) in Oriental Studies/Sanskrit from Oxford University with a research focus on early Śaivism and tantric rituals during her graduate studies. After completing her doctorate, she took up a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Institute of Indian Studies at the University of Groningen in the NWO-funded project "A Historical Enquiry Concerning the Composition and Spread of the Skandapurāṇa" (Project Coordinator: Hans Bakker), where she contributed to the editorial work and focused on the emergence and development of early Śaivism in the Kathmandu Valley based on epigraphical sources. She has been awarded a Jan Gonda Fellowship by the Jan Gonda Fund Foundation at the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (October 2013-January 2014) and collaborated with the Sanskrit Manuscripts Project, Cambridge (Project Coordinator: Vincenzo Vergiani). Her research interests include the development and history of early Śaivism and its literary traditions (in particular early Śaiva tantras and manuals as well as the Sivadharma corpus), rituals and beliefs concerning death and afterlife in Hinduism, and the study of epigraphical material as a source for religio-political and cultural history, with special focus on Śaivism in Nepal during the Licchavi period.

She joined the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia in June 2014 as a member of the FWF project Visions of Community. Currently, she is preparing her book manuscript "Liberating the Liberated. A History of the Development of Cremation and Ancestor Worship in the Early Śaiva Siddhānta" (based on her doctoral thesis). Further, she co-organized the VISCOM conference "Tantric Communities in Context: Sacred Secrets and Public Rituals" (together with Vincent Eltschinger and Marion Rastelli) at the institute, 5-7 February 2015.



  • “Liberating the Liberated. A History of the Development of Cremation and Ancestor Worship in the Early Śaiva Siddhānta.” Doctoral Thesis, Oxford University, 2010. Book manuscript currently under preparation.

Edited Volumes

  • Nina Mirnig, Peter Daniel Szanto, Michael Williams, ed., 2013
    Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2013.
  • Mirnig 2013.jpg


  • "Inscribing Merit, Obtaining Might: Early Śivaliṅga Foundation Inscriptions and Patterns of Religious Donations in Early Medieval Nepal" (forthcoming)
  • “Hungry Ghost or Divine Soul? Post-Mortem Initiation in Medieval Śaiva Tantric Death Rites,” in Ultimate Ambiguities. Investigating Death and Liminality. Eds. Peter Berger and Justin Kroesen. Berghahn Books. (2014, in press)
  • “Favoured by the Venerable Lord Paśupati. Tracing the Rise of a new Tutelary Deity in Epigraphic Expressions of Power in Early Medieval Nepal,” in the Indo-Iranian Journal, Volume 53, 3/4, Brill. (2013)
  • “Śaiva Siddhānta Śrāddha. Towards an Evaluation of its Performance in the Early Medieval Period,” in Puṣpikā. Tracing Ancient India Through Texts and Tradition. Contributions to Current Research in Indology. Oxbow Books, Oxford. (2013)


  • Hans T. Bakker, Peter C. Bisschop, Yuko Yokochi, eds., in cooperation with Nina Mirnig and Judit Toerzsoek (2014)
    The Skandapurāṇa. Volume IIB. Adhyāyas 31-52. The Vāhana and Naraka Cycles. Critical Edition with and Introduction and annotated English Synopsis. Brill, 2014.
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