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Carola Lorea receives ERC Synergy Grant to study mantras

Lorea (middle) und Finnian Gerety (left) und Borayin Larios (right)

Professor Carola Lorea, a scholar of South Asian religions and cultures from Tübingen, together with her colleagues from the University of Vienna and the U.S. Brown University, has been awarded a 9.6 million euro Synergy Grant from the European Research Council to research mantras. 
“Mantra” is an ancient Sanskrit word, now common in many Asian and European languages. It means a sacred utterance, formula, or powerful syllable. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide use mantras for rituals, healing practices or meditation. 
The research project will for the first time develop a global history and anthropology of mantras and will create extensive digital sound, visual and textual archives for this purpose.  
Carola Lorea is Professor of Religious Studies/Rethinking Global Religion at the University of Tübingen. She developed the project MANTRAMS - Mantras in religion, media and society in global Southern Asia - together with Borayin Larios from the University of Vienna, Finnian Gerety from Brown University, Andrea Acri from EPHE Paris and Gudrun Bühnemann from Madison, Wisconsin. The ERC grant runs for six years.
"Field research across several continents requires international collaborations. This is how a now global phenomenon like mantras can be studied," said Professor Karla Pollmann, rector of the University of Tübingen. "We are happy to have Professor Carola Lorea, a researcher at the University of Tübingen, who dares to tackle such an ambitious project." 
The European Research Center is supporting a total of 37 projects from Europe and beyond in this year's Synergy Grants award, totaling €359 million. The funding helps groups of outstanding researchers to pool different skills, knowledge and resources to push the frontiers of our knowledge.