Barbara Schuler studied Indology (classical and modern), with a focus on Tamil, Indian History of Religion and Social Anthropology at the Universities of Heidelberg (South Asia Institute), Hamburg and (as a doctorate candidate under Prof. David Shulman) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Her current research focuses mainly on Emotion Studies as related to Tamil literature and ritual. She also studies the rituals and texts of indigenous South Indian traditions, with a focus on the relationship and interaction between ritual and text, particularly in context of goddess worship. As well, her research is connected to Visual Anthropology and Memory Studies. From 2007 to 2011 she was the Associate Director of the Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg where she had a leading role in its direction and development at this time.
- 1997/98–2000/1 and 2007/8 Adjunct lecturer for Tamil at the Universität Hamburg, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies
- 1998, 2002/03, 2009, 2010 Field research in India (Tamilnadu) and Myanmar
Since 2008 Interdisciplinary lecture series / photo exhibitions among others on religious emotions;interreligious networks; donors/patrons and religion; death and dying in Buddhism; Buddhism along the Silk Road; ecoethics and Buddhism; morality; religion and the neurosciences
- 2004 Doctorate (Dr. phil., summa cum laude) awarded by the Asian-Africa-Institute, University of Hamburg. Dissertation entitled Icakkiyamman Katai: Edition with Annotated Translation, and Interpretation of the Cult of the Goddess Icakki.
- 1995 Degree (M.A.) awarded by the Institute for the Culture and History of India and Tibet, University of Hamburg. Thesis on Zu den formalen Aspekten der Erzählweise von Acokamittiran— aufgezeigt am Beispiel einer Ich-Erzählung in Tamil.
- 4/2001–9/2003 Fellowship granted by Minerva Foundation (Max-Planck-Society) Doctoral research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
- 1991 Fellowship held for an academic year as under-graduate student at the International Institute of Tamil Studies in Chennai, Tamilnadu, South India.