Daniel Wojahn


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Daniel Wojahn

DPhil candidate, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



Daniel Wojahn is a DPhil candidate in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at the University of Oxford and Leverhulme scholarship holder. He completed both his baccalaureate and MA in Indology and Central Asian Studies from Leipzig University, Germany. 

He is also the technical director of the Oral History of Tibetan Studies project and freelance indexer for Brill’s Index Buddhicus. His current research focuses on the intersection of power and law during the Yuan–Sakya period in pre-modern Central Tibet.  

DPhil topic

‘Reading khrims Between the Lines: The Emergence of Law in Thirteenth-century Central Tibet’

Daniel Wojahn’s thesis examines the relationship between law and power in the Central Tibet during the thirteenth century. When we consult modern dictionaries of modern Tibetan, we find the English equivalent ‘law’ for the Tibetan term khrims. However, was it equivalent to our Western understanding of law? Can we assume a continuity of the term up until the present? And what were Tibetan ideas concerning legal practices? 

Previous scholarship has analysed the available sources on khrims, but it has not been until recently that the ‘Yuan–Sakya Period (1251–1368)’ has received scholarly attention concerning khrims. Therefore, in this dissertation, Daniel explores the Tibetan understanding of khrims for the period of Mongolian domination in Tibet and how any of that relates to our concept of law.

The invasion of the Mongols and the subsequent integration of Tibet into the Mongolian Yuan dynasty is well attested through many legalistic documents, edicts, and historical reports. But what exactly was introduced by the Mongols, and how did it affect the administration of Central Tibet? 

This dissertation aims to contribute to a better understanding of this formative period in Tibetan history and seeks to demonstrate the interaction between local governance, religious traditions, social processes, customs and Chinese bureaucratic practices.