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 Śivadharma 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, as well as the cultural history of early medieval Nepal.

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".

Since 2014, Mirnig has been cooperating with a team of archaeologists under the direction of Prof. Robin Coningham (UNESCO Chair, Durham University) on developing interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the early cultural layers of the Kathmandu Valley.



  • Liberating the Liberated: Tantric Death Rites in Early Śaivism. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. (forthcoming)

Edited Volumes

  • Tantric Communities in Context. Eds. Nina Mirnig, Marion Rastelli, Vincent Eltschinger. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. (forthcoming).
  • Epigraphical Evidence for the Formation and Rise of Early Śaivism. (Special Issue of the Indo-Iranian Journal 56:3/4.) Eds. Natasja Bosma, Nina Mirnig, Marion Rastelli. Leiden: Brill, 2013.
  • Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology. Eds. Nina Mirnig, Peter Daniel Szanto, Michael Williams. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2013.


  • “Rudras on Earth on the Eve of the Tantric Age: The Śivadharmaśāstra on creating Śaiva lay and initiatory communities“, in Tantric Communities in Context, (eds) Nina Mirnig, Marion Rastelli, Vincent Eltschinger. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. (forthcoming).
  • “Adapting Śaiva Tantric Initiation for Exoteric Circles: The Case of the Lokadharmiṇī Dīkṣā and its History in Early Medieval Sources“, in Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions: Essays in Honour of Alexis Sanderson, (eds) Dominic Goodall, Shaman Hatley, Harunaga Isaacson, Srilata Raman. Leiden: Brill. (forthcoming).
  • “Glimpses into the Past through Inscriptions: The Ancient History of Nepal’s National Shrine Pashupatinath”, The Britain-Nepal Society Journal 41 (2017 edition, in print).
  • “Umā and Śiva's Playful Talks in Detail (Lalitavistara): On the Production of Śaiva Works and their Manuscripts in Medieval Nepal”; together with Florinda De Simini. In The South Asian Manuscript Book. Material, Textual and Historical Investigations, (eds) V. Vergiani, D. Cuneo and C.A. Formigatti. De Gruyter: Berlin. (2017)
  • “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)
  • “Exploring ancient Pashupati: the results of preliminary surveys and excavations at Bhandarkhal 2014–2016”; Coningham, R.A.E., Acharya, K.P., Davis, C.E., Manuel, M.J., Kunwar, R.B., Hale, D., Tremblay, J., Gautam, D. and Mirnig, N., Ancient Nepal 192, pp. 28–51. (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.

Manuscript Descriptions for the Cambridge Digital Library

Öster­reichi­sche Aka­demie der Wissen­schaften
Institut für Kultur- und Geistes­geschichte Asiens
Meine Werkzeuge