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. 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), the formation of Śaiva devotional practices (e.g. the worship of the Śivaliṅga) as well as rituals and beliefs concerning death and afterlife in Hinduism. Further, she focuses on the study of epigraphical material as a source for religio-political and cultural history, with special focus on Nepalese inscriptions of the Licchavi period.

Nina Mirnig joined the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia in June 2014 as a member of the FWF project Visions of Community. Since July 2015, she works on the FWF project "The Śivaliṅga Cult on the Eve of the Tantric Age: A Study and Critical Edition of the Śivadharmaśāstra's Chapters 1-5 and 7-9".



  • “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.
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  • “The ‘Divine’ Worshipper in the Śivadharmaśāstra: Conceptualising the Śaiva Lay Devotee (śivabhakta) in the Construction of a Śaiva Social Order,” in Tantric Communities in Context, (eds) Nina Mirnig, Marion Rastelli, Vincent Eltschinger. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. (forthcoming).
  • “Early Strata of Śaivism in the Kathmandu Valley: Śivaliṅga Pedestal Inscriptions from 466–645 CE,” in the Indo-Iranian Journal, Volume 59 4/4, Brill. (2016)
  • “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. (2015)
  • “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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