Laurent Van Cutsem is a Ph.D. student at the Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies (Special Research Fund, Ghent University, Belgium) where he works under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Christoph Anderl and Prof. Dr. Bart Dessein. His external advisors are Prof. Dr. Marcus Bingenheimer (Temple University) and Prof. Dr. Christian Wittern (Kyōto University).
He studied History at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2013, Magna cum laude) and holds an MA in Religious Studies from the Université catholique de Louvain (2015, Summa cum laude, with congratulations from the jury).
His current research project investigates the textual history and literary development of early “Records of the Transmission of the Lamp” (ch. chuándēnglù 傳燈錄) of the Chán Buddhist tradition during the late Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 五代十國 period (907-960) and early Northern Sòng 北宋 (960-1127). He is also interested in Chinese Buddhism (from its inception to the Sòng), Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy, Chinese variant characters, and medieval Chinese syntax.
At Ghent University, Laurent is also a contributor to the Ghent Database of Medieval Chinese. He is responsible for the collection and input of variant characters from the 1245 Goryeo 高麗 woodblock edition of the Zǔtáng jí 祖堂集 (Collection of the Patriarchs' Halls; K. 1503) based on a print stored at the Library of the Institute for Research in Humanities 人文科學研究所圖書室, Kyōto University 京都大學. Furthermore, he is preparing XML/TEI-based digital editions (diplomatic and regularized) of sections of the Zǔtáng jí and related texts such as the Quánzhōu Qiānfó xīnzhù zhū zǔshī sòng 泉州千佛新著諸祖師頌 (Eulogies for the Patriarchs newly composed by Qiānfó [Dēng] of Quán prefecture; Or.8210/S.1635).