Asian Languages and Civilizations


Ph.D., Oriental Languages, University of California Berkeley, 1988
M.A., Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, 1979
B.A., History, University of Miami, 1975 (summa cum laude)

Regional and Thematic Interests

East Asia
History, Religion


Terry Kleeman received his M.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1979 and his Ph.D. in Oriental Languages from the University of California, Berkeley,in 1988.  As a graduate student, he studied at National Taiwan University (1976-77); Taishō University (Tokyo, 1979-81); École Pratique des Hautes-études (Sorbonne, 1986-87); since graduating, he has held research appointments at the Institute of Oriental Culture of Tokyo University, the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy at Academia Sinica, the Needham Institute for the Study of East Asian Science in Cambridge, the Center for Chinese Studies at the National Central Library, Taiwan, and the Institute of Daoism and Religious Culture at Sichuan University. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota, and the College of William and Mary before joining the University of Colorado in 1998. Kleeman is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, from the Japanese Ministry of Education (1979), ACLS (1986, 2009), the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (1995, 2006), the CU Faculty Fellowship (2004), and the Mellon Foundation (2009), and is a Life Member of Clare Hall (Cambridge). Terry has served as the President of the Society for the Study of Chinese Religion and co-chair of the Chinese Religions Group of the American Academy of Religions. His research focuses on Chinese religion and thought, especially medieval religious Daoism and popular religion, as well as Chinese ethnic history, the local history of Southwest China, East Asian new religions, and Chinese archaeology. Major publications include A God’s Own Tale (SUNY Press, 1994), Great Perfection: Religion and Ethnicity in a Chinese Millennial Kingdom (Hawaii, 1998),  The Ancient Chinese World, co-authored with Tracy Barrett (Oxford, 2005), and Daoist and the Philosophy of Co-existence / Dōkyō to kyōsei shisō (Taiga, 2009), as well as many articles in English, Chinese, and Japanese. In Summer 2011, Terry directed an NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers concerning reading Daoist texts and will offer this seminar again in Summer 2014. For calendar 2013 he was a fellow of the International Consortium for Humanistic Research at Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany.

Selected Publications

2015. Celestial Masters: History and Ritual in Early Daoist Communities (Harvard University Press)

2009. Daoist and the Philosophy of Co-existence / Dōkyō to kyōsei shisō (Taiga)

2005. The Ancient Chinese World, co-authored with Tracy Barrett (Oxford)

1998. Great Perfection: Religion and Ethnicity in a Chinese Millennial Kingdom (Hawaii) 

1994. A God’s Own Tale (SUNY Press)