Dr. Zürn's research and teaching interests include early and pre-modern Chinese religions (including Daoisn), intellectual history, visual cultures, and intertextuality.
Zürn earned his PhD in pre-modern Chinese religions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, and taught for seven years at Grinnell College and in the University of Wisconsin system before coming to Wash U. His research concerns itself with the many ways that religious texts, or scriptures, function in the life of communities, and shows how early Daoists and Buddhists used scriptures not just as philosophical guides, but also as aesthetic and ritual entities that engaged with bodies and other objects in numerous ways.
His teaching interests include life, death, and the afterlife in eastern religious systems, and understandings of sex, the body and gender. His most recent courses include: Daoist Traditions; The Zhuangzi, A Daoist Classic; Confucian Thought; and Anime and Animi: A Popular Cultural Approach to Shinto.