Head of Department
T +43-1-4277-31602
M +43-664-60277-31602
Office Hour: upon agreement
Room 010, 5th floor



Lukas K. Pokorny is Professor and Chair in Religious Studies as well as Head of Department. He also serves as Vice Dean (Research and International Affairs; 2018–2022) and Deputy Director of Studies. He was elected Vice President of the Austrian Society of Religious Studies (2019–2022). He holds an M.A. in Philosophy (2004) and History (2009) (magister philosophiae), Korean Studies (2006) and Religious Studies (2008) (magister), and Advanced Theological Studies (2014) (master of arts), as well as a Ph.D. (doctor philosophiae) in Philosophy (2008). He was previously Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies (2013–2016) and Bruce Lecturer in East Asian Religions (2011–2013) at the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen, U.K. In the spring/summer semester 2019, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Institute for the Study of Religions at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. From 2013 to 2015 a research grant led him to Stockholm University's Department of Oriental Languages as a Visiting Researcher in East Asian Religions. In addition, in summer/autumn 2014 he was Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts at Chaminade University of Honolulu. From 2006 to 2010, he was a doctoral and postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Vienna's Department of East Asian Studies. He conducted extensive field research in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam as well as study and research stays at Yonsei University, Tokai University, Kyoto University, Peking University, and Beijing Language and Culture University. He taught at several universities, including the University of Aberdeen, Georg-August University in Göttingen, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Stockholm University, Charles University in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno, Palacký University in Olomouc, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Comenius University in Bratislava, and Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. His present research focuses on Asian diasporic as well as new and alternative religion in Austria; ethnocentrism and millenarian beliefs in new religious movements (East Asia and beyond); and aging, death, and spirituality in Confucianism. His current book projects include, among others, an edited volume tentatively titled The Euro-American Esoteric Reception of East Asian Thought: Appropriating the Dao (with Franz Winter), a monograph on Millenarianism and East Asian New Religious Movements, and the sixth volume of Religion in Austria (with Hans Gerald Hödl and Astrid Mattes). Together with Franz Winter he recently published the edited volume The Occult Nineteenth Century: Roots, Developments, and Impact on the Modern World at Palgrave Macmillan. Other more recent publications include a Special Issue of Religions on "The Funerary Tradition of East Asian New Religious Movements" (edited with Jérémy Jammes), the Handbook of East Asian New Religious Movements (edited with Franz Winter at Brill), the twelfth volume of the Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies (edited with Rudiger Frank, Ina Hein, and Agnes Schick Chen at Sciendo/De Gruyter), and the fifth volume of Religion in Austria. He lives with his wife, Xuan, and his four daughters in a small town in the Rax area, Lower Austria.