Joshua Capitanio

Public Services Librarian, East Asia Library

Bibliographer, East and Southeast Asia (Western languages)

Eastern Religions Subject Specialist

As Public Services Librarian at the East Asia Library, I manage the library's outreach activities, such as exhibits and other events.  I am also the bibliographer responsible for developing Stanford's Western-language collections in the areas of East Asian Studies and Southeast Asian Studies, and a subject specialist in Eastern Religions.


  • Ph.D., East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A., East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
  • B.A., Chinese, University of California Los Angeles

Professional activities 

American Academy of Religion
Association for Asian Studies
International Association of Buddhist Studies
Society for the Study of Chinese Religions

Selected Publications 

"Ritual and Self-Cultivation in the Daoist Practice of 'Oblatory Refinement,'" Numen 67, no. 1 (2020): 29-72.

"Sanskrit and Pseudo-Sanskrit Incantations in Daoist Ritual Texts," History of Religions 57, no. 4 (2018): 348-405.

C. Pierce Salguero, Robban Toleno, William J. Giddings, Joshua Capitanio, and Marcus Bingenheimer, "Medicine in the Chinese Buddhist Canon: Selected Translations," Asian Medicine 12 (2017): 279-294.

"The Ritual Altar of Kundali Vajra for Treating Illnesses," in C. Pierce Salguero, ed., Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Premodern Sources (New York: Columbia, 2017): 314-321.

"Buddhist Tales of Lü Dongbin." T'oung Pao 102, no. 4-5 (2016): 448-502.

"Portrayals of Chan Buddhism in the Literature of Internal Alchemy." Journal of Chinese Religions 43, no. 2 (2015): 1-42.

"Health, Illness, and the Body in Buddhist and Daoist Self-Cultivation." In Brahman and Dao: Comparative Studies of Indian and Chinese Philosophy and Religion, ed. Ithamar Theodor and Yao Zhihua, 181-194.  Lanham: Lexington Books (2013). 

"Religious Ritual."  In The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions, ed. Randall Nadeau, 309-334.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell  (2012).  

"Esoteric Buddhist Elements in Daoist Ritual Manuals of the Song, Yuan, and Ming." In Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia, ed. Charles D. Orzech et al., 529-535. Leiden: Brill (2010).