Nina Mirnig received her BA (2004), M.St. (2005) and D.Phil. (2010) in Oriental Studies/Sanskrit from Oxford University. After completing her graduate studies, she held a post-doctoral position at the Institute for Indian Studies at Groningen University, a Gonda Fellowship at the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, and was a research associate at Cambridge University. She joined the Institute in 2015 as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) projects "Visions of Community" (SFB F42-G18) and "Śivaliṅga Worship on the Eve of the Tantric Age" (P-27838-G15). Since 2019 she has been an Elise Richter Fellow, leading a project on the religious, cultural and political landscape of early medieval Nepal (FWF V 755-G). In 2020, she was elected member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Her research interests include the literature, rituals, history and spread of early Śaivism and the Tantric traditions, the cultural history of early medieval Nepal, and South Asian epigraphy. She has published a monograph on early Śaiva Tantric death rites (Mirnig 2018) and is preparing a critical edition and translation of the early foundational Śaiva scripture Śivadharmaśāstra, chapters 1–5 and 9, including an introductory study on socio-religious aspects and devotional practices of Śaiva communities during this formative period. Her current project focuses on the reception and development of Sanskrit culture and Hindu traditions in early medieval Nepal, with special focus on the documentation and study of Sanskrit Licchavi inscriptions (c. 5th–8th c. CE) in the Kathmandu Valley. She is also engaged in developing collaborative approaches that combine text-based philological studies with archaeology and art history.
At the University of Vienna she teaches courses on Śaivism, Tantra and South-Asian epigraphy. She is on the Editorial Board of the interdisciplinary journal Medieval Worlds and member of the Executive Board of the De Nobili Research Library – Association for Indology and the Study of Religion (University of Vienna). Further, she is one of the contributing authors for theDictionary of Technical Terms from Hindu Tantric Literature (Austrian Academy of Sciences Press).
Nina Mirnig, 2018
Liberating the Liberated: Early Śaiva Tantric Death Rites. With Editions and Annotated Translations of Selected Passages of the Svāyambhuvasūtrasaṃgraha, Sarvajñānottara, Kiraṇa, and Jñānaratnāvalī. (BKGA 96.) Wien: VÖAW, 2018.
Nina Mirnig, Marion Rastelli, Vincent Eltschinger (eds.), 2019
Tantric Communities in Context. (BKGA 99.) Wien: VÖAW, 2019 (download PDF [open access] or order online).
Natasja Bosma, Nina Mirnig (eds.), 2013
Epigraphical Evidence for the Formation and Rise of Early Śaivism. (Special Issue of the Indo-Iranian Journal 56:3/4.) Leiden: Brill, 2013.
Nina Mirnig, Peter Daniel Szanto, Michael Williams (eds.), 2013
Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2013.
- “Adapting Śaiva Tantric Initiation for Exoteric Circles: The Case of the Lokadharmiṇī Dīkṣā and its History in Early Medieval Sources“, in Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions: Essays in Honour of Alexis Sanderson, (eds) Dominic Goodall, Shaman Hatley, Harunaga Isaacson, Srilata Raman. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
- “Rudras on Earth on the Eve of the Tantric Age: The Śivadharmaśāstra on creating Śaiva lay and initiatory communities“, in Tantric Communities in Context, (eds) Nina Mirnig, Marion Rastelli, Vincent Eltschinger. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, pp. 471–510. (2019).
- “Umā and Śiva's Playful Talks in Detail (Lalitavistara): On the Production of Śaiva Works and their Manuscripts in Medieval Nepal”; together with Florinda De Simini. In The South Asian Manuscript Book. Material, Textual and Historical Investigations, (eds) V. Vergiani, D. Cuneo and C.A. Formigatti. De Gruyter: Berlin. (2017)
- “Early Strata of Śaivism in the Kathmandu Valley: Śivaliṅga Pedestal Inscriptions from 466–645 CE,” in the Indo-Iranian Journal, Volume 59 4/4, Brill. (2016)
- “Exploring ancient Pashupati: the results of preliminary surveys and excavations at Bhandarkhal 2014–2016”; Coningham, R.A.E., Acharya, K.P., Davis, C.E., Manuel, M.J., Kunwar, R.B., Hale, D., Tremblay, J., Gautam, D. and Mirnig, N., Ancient Nepal 192, pp. 28–51. (2016)
- “Hungry Ghost or Divine Soul? Post-Mortem Initiation in Medieval Śaiva Tantric Death Rites,” in Ultimate Ambiguities. Investigating Death and Liminality, (eds) Peter Berger and Justin Kroesen. Berghahn Books. (2015)
- “Favoured by the Venerable Lord Paśupati. Tracing the Rise of a new Tutelary Deity in Epigraphic Expressions of Power in Early Medieval Nepal,” in the Indo-Iranian Journal, Volume 53, 3/4, Brill. (2013)