Reinders specializes in Chinese religion, particularly Medieval Buddhism, Buddhist monasticism, and Christian missionary cultures. The primary themes of his work are cultural constructions of the body, destruction studies, and comparative fantasy. His first book is Borrowed gods and foreign bodies: Christian missionaries imagine Chinese religion (University of California Press, 2004). His second book is Buddhism and iconoclasm in East Asia: A history (co-written with Fabio Rambelli of UCSB; Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2012). His current book project is Ritual Topography: Bowing and refusing to bow in China, comparing Buddhist and Christian objections to obeisance. An ongoing project is A guide to Chinese Buddhist temples, co-written with Michael Walsh of Vassar College. He is also developing a book project on Chinese translations of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
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