Professor Martin Seeger

Professor Martin Seeger


From 1997-2000 I was ordained as a Theravada Buddhist monk in northern Thailand. During this time I studied the Thai language, Thai history and culture, Pali chanting, and meditation. At the same time a number of Thai Buddhist monks taught me Theravada Buddhist doctrine, using the textbooks of the traditional clerical examination for Thai Buddhist monks (Nak Tham) and numerous other important texts of the Thai Theravada tradition. From 2000 to 2004 I studied Thai Buddhism, Thai history and culture, Pali language and early Indian Buddhism at the University of Hamburg, predominantly with my teachers and MA/PhD supervisors Professor Barend Terwiel and Professor Lambert Schmithausen.I joined the University of Leeds in 2004 as a Teaching Fellow in Thai Language Studies before being  promoted to Lecturer in Thai Language and Culture in 2006. In 2011 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer and from 2013-2019 I was an Associate Professor of Thai Studies. In 2019 I was promoted to a Chair. 


  • Programme Manager of Thai Studies and East Asian Religions and Cultures

Research interests

In my research I often combine ethnographic with textual studies. Much of my research focuses on the life and work of the Thai Buddhist thinkers Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya Jaroen Ñanavaro (1872-1951), Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-1993), Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya (P. A. Payutto, b. 1939), Khunying Damrongthammasan (Yai, Wisetsiri, 1882-1944) and Khun Mae Bunruean Tongbuntoem (1895-1964). I have also done research on Thai Buddhism and environmentalism, Human Rights in Thai Theravada Buddhism, development monks in the northeastern region of Thailand, and teaching Thai as a foreign language. In my book "Gender and the Path to Awakening: Hidden Histories of Nuns in Modern Thai Buddhism", I investigate understandings of female sainthood in Thai Buddhism, its expressions in material culture, and the importance of orality and memory in Thai Buddhism.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (University of Hamburg)
  • MA (University of Hamburg)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Leeds
  • Nak Tham Tri (Buddhist Expert of the First Level)

Student education

I have taught the following modules:

  • EAST1500 Introduction to Religious and Philosophical Texts of East Asia
  • EAST1550 Introduction to East Asian Religions
  • EAST1703 Basic Thai Language and Culture I
  • EAST1704 Basic Thai Language and Culture II
  • EAST2008 The Making of Modern Thailand
  • EAST2704 Intermediate Thai Language and Culture I
  • EAST2705 Intermediate Thai Language and Culture II
  • EAST2708 Thailand: the Emergence of a Nation State
  • EAST2709 Windows on Thai History
  • EAST3732 Advanced Thai Language and Culture I
  • EAST3733 Advanced Thai Language and Culture II
  • EAST3707 Buddhism: A Lived Tradition

Research groups and institutes

  • Thai
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>