Peter van der Veer is Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity at Göttingen. He taught Anthropology at the Free University in Amsterdam, at Utrecht University and at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1992 he was appointed as Professor of Comparative Religion and Founding Director of the Research Center in Religion and Society in the Social Science Faculty of the University of Amsterdam. He served as Dean of the Social Science Faculty and as Dean of the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research at Amsterdam, and as Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam and Chairman of the Board of the International Institute for Asian Studies, both in Leiden. In 2004, he was appointed as University Professor at Large at Utrecht University, a position from which he retired in 2019. He has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the New School in New York, and the National University of Singapore. Most recently, he served as the Provost’s Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago where he delivered the 2019 Annual Vivekananda Lecture. He received the Hendrik Muller Award for his social science study of religion. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Van der Veer works on religion and nationalism in Asia and Europe. Among his other major publications are Gods on Earth (LSE Monographs, 1988), Religious Nationalism (University of California Press, 1994), and Imperial Encounters (Princeton University Press, 2001). The Modern Spirit of Asia. The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India (Princeton University Press, 2013), and The Value of Comparison (The Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures, published by Duke University Press 2016). He was editor or co-editor of Orientalism and Post-Colonial Predicament (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), Nation and Migration (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), Conversion to Modernities (Routledge, 1997), Nation and Religion (Princeton University Press, 1999), Media, War, and Terrorism (Routledge-Curzon, 2003), Patterns of Middle-Class Consumption in India and China (Sage 2007), The Handbook of Religion and the Asian City. Aspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century (University of California Press 2016), Prayer (Routledge 2017).
- Center for the study of ethnic and cultural diversity
- Comparative study of urban aspirations in mega-cities
- Globalization of religious networks
- Indian and Chinese religious networks in South-East Asia
- North-South by East-West
- Religious Diversity and Ecological Sustainability in China
- Urban Aspirations in Seoul: Religion and Megacities in Comparative Studies