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Filippo Marsili, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Courses Taught

China and Japan to 1600: Histories, Cultures, Identities; Samurai, Revolutionaries, and Entrepreneurs (China and Japan since 1600); The Gods of the Others: The Sacred, Identities, and Communities across the Globe (Ignite Seminar); From Sunzi’s Art of War to Bruce Lee: The Culture of Violence in China and Japan; Religions on the Silk Roads; Barbarians, Savages, and Monsters: Otherness in the Ancient World; Theory & Practice of History: Positionality and Reflexivity (Graduate Course)


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2011

M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2007

B.A., Università di Roma "La Sapienza," 2000

Research Interests

Cultural and political history of ancient China; History of Religion; Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations; Greco-Roman Historiography History of Historiography; Intercultural and Inter-religious Encounters; Cultural History of Violence

Publications and Media Placements

“Framing the Other: Mindfulness, Photography, and a Reflexive Approach to Comparative Religions,” in The Teaching of Awareness in the Buddhist Tradition: Essays in Honour of Corrado Pensa. F. Sferra, C. Neri (editors), (Sheffield, UK: Equinox Press, 2024), 82 – 98. 

“The Economics of Myth: Historicizing Discourses on Metal, Soil, and Ritual under Han Wudi,” in Water Moon Reflections: Essays in Honor of Patricia Berger. Ellen Huang, Nancy G. Lin, Michelle McCoy, and Michelle H. Wang (editors) (Berkeley: Institute for Asian Studies, University of California, 2021): 9 –33.

Heaven is Empty: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Religion and Power in Ancient China (SUNY Press, 2018).

“The Ghosts of Monotheism: Heaven, Fortune, and Universalism in Early Chinese and Greco-Roman Historiography,” Fragments 3 (2013 – 2014): 43 – 77. 

“The Ding Tripods,” in C.Y. Liu, M. Nylan, A. Barbieri Law, Recarving China’s Past (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005): 246-57.

Review of “Knowing Heaven: Astronomy, the Calendar, and the Sagecraft Science in Early Imperial China.” By Daniel Patrick Morgan’s, Dissertation Reviews, November 17 (2015); 

Review of The Sage and the People: The Confucian Revival in China. By Sebastien Billioud and Joël Thoraval, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 2016, 84 (2): 560-563; doi: 10.1093/jaarel/lfw048

New Books Network

Professional Organizations and Associations

Co-creator and organizer of the Matteo Ricci Speakers Series: The Jesuit, Christianity, China, and the Intercultural Experience; Taiwan Fellow (2018-2019)