2020 International and Intensive Program on Buddhism at McMaster University

2020 Tianzhu International & Intensive Program on Buddhism

(July 31–August 15, 2020; ONLINE, in collaboration with McMaster University, Canada)

Schedule Seminar and Lecture Series Student Participants Student Forum
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The Tianzhu Global Network for the Study of Buddhist Cultures, whose founding members include UBC, Ghent University, Harvard, INALCO, McMaster, and UC Berkeley, with support from the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Toronto, cordially invites applications for an intensive program on Buddhist Studies. Lasting from July 31 to August 15, 2020, this program is composed of two segments: Segment 1 from July 31 to August 7, and Segment 2 from August 8 to August 15, which are connected by an intersegmental student forum for young scholars on August 9 to 14.


The backbone of this program consists of four seminars delivered by international scholars. Each seminar combines close reading of primary sources (non-Chinese primary sources may be accompanied by English translations), lectures on the implications of these sources, and guided presentations from participating students on their research, which could be their term papers, or thesis chapters. The instructors for this year’s intensive program are:

  • CHEN Jinhua (UBC): Nets Without Ties: Buddhism-related Networks in East Asia (Segment 1)
  • Shayne CLARKE (McMaster): Buddhist Monastic Law Codes (Vinaya) and Commentaries from India to China (Segment 1)
  • JI Zhe (CEIB): Buddhism and State in Modern and Contemporary China (Segment 2)
  • Monika ZIN (Leipzig University): Buddhism on the Northern Silk Road as Mirrored in Art (Segment 2)

The program also supports a series of occasional lectures delivered by international scholars. The speakers for this year’s intensive program are:

  • Mikael BAUER (McGill): “Lineage and Ritual: Buddhism and state in Classical and Medieval Japan”
  • Chün-fang YÜ (Columbia): “Twin Bodhisattvas: The Paired Worship of Guanyin and Dizang”
  • Amanda GOODMAN (U of Toronto): “Further Reflections on the Chan-Tantra Connection: Updates from Dunhuang”
  • Robert SHARF (UC Berkeley): “Thinking About Not Thinking: Buddhist Theories of Consciousness and Non-conceptual Cognition”

In addition to participating in these seminars and lectures, student participants are also encouraged to present their research papers to their program instructors, lecturers, and their peer participants at the Young Scholars’ Forum. Outstanding students may be selected and invited to carry out short-term (3–12 months long) research at UBC and UBC’s partner universities in East Asia, Europe and North America that are linked together through a large SSHRC-sponsored international and interdisciplinary project on Buddhism and East Asian Religions (frogbear.org). This may further bring them the opportunity of pursuing doctoral degrees or doing postdoctoral research at these top universities.

Senior undergraduate students and graduate students specializing in any Buddhist tradition(s), and postdoctoral fellows working on relevant fields, are encouraged to apply. Please direct applications and inquiries to FrogBear.Project@ubc.ca. Each application should include (1) an application form (to be provided upon request via the above email address), (2) updated curriculum vitae, (3) one writing sample, and (4) a reference letter (to be emailed by the referee directly to the above email address). Priority will be given to those applicants who are able to participate in both segments, although applications may also be considered from applicants who can only take part in one segment due to compelling reasons.

Given the current pandemic situation globally, we will deliver this program online, using Zoom.

To guarantee sufficient interaction of student participants with instructors and between student participants themselves, student enrollment is limited. There are no administration or tuition fees.