Conference Series

November 2018, University of Oxford
Seminar on Sattva/Satva, zhongsheng 衆生 and youqing 有情, synonymous or not


This seminar supported by the Glorisun Foundation and led by Professor Funayama Toru (Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University), took place on November 26, 2018 at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. The seminar focused on shifts in the Chinese understanding of the key Buddhist term Sattva/Satva, as reflected by translations and commentarial sources produced during the medieval period. It gave graduate students at Oxford a unique opportunity to read and analyse primary sources relevant to this important terminological and conceptual issue with Professor Funayama, one of the world’s leading scholars in the study of Chinese Buddhist translations.


September 2018, University of Oxford
Workshop on Buddhism and the Religious Other

On September 9-10, 2018, the Glorisun Global Buddhist Network at the University of Oxford supported a workshop on the theme of Buddhism and the Religious Other. This entailed two days of papers and discussion concerned with the representations of non-Buddhist ideas, practices, and their exponents in South and East Asian Buddhist literature. While the first day focused on Buddhism in its Indian context – featuring papers that dealt with Buddhist understanding of its relationship to Brahmanism and Jainism in particular – the second day was devoted to questions of Buddhist identity and ‘othering’ in East Asian Buddhist history.

Participants presented on the formation of Buddhist identity in tandem with developments in organized Daoism (Christine Mollier, CNRS Paris); expressions of distinctive Buddhist identity contra Daoism in the medieval period (Stephen Bokenkamp, Arizona State University), and the dynamics of Buddhist identity in China as informed by patterns of religious discourse across Eurasia (Antonello Palumbo, SOAS London). Papers in the afternoon concerned Buddhist mechanisms for understanding Neo-Confucianism (Tim Barrett, SOAS London) and the boundaries between Buddhist and extraneous ritual in Heian Japan (Benedetta Lomi, University of Bristol).

The event was hosted by Christopher V. Jones, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.


September 2018, Peking University
History of Chinese Buddhism Conference

The theme of the conference was “Analysis, interpretation and reconstruction of the religious sects of Chinese Buddhism”. The forum was composed of the following sub-themes: “The role of biographies and records of the transmission of the lamp in forming sectarian identities”; “Formation of sectarian ideologies and entities”; “Impacts of Buddhist official histories and the biographies of prominent monks on the writing of sectarian histories”; “Formation of the theories on the classification of Buddhist Teachings, and of other doctrinal theories and sectarian ideologies”; “Latest data on Buddhist sects”; “Reflection on the methodologies for studying sectarian concepts, paradigms and theories”. Around 80 scholars participated in the conference; 75 papers were submitted.

For conference program (in Chinese), click here.

For news coverage (in Chinese), click here.


August 2018, University of Cambridge
Production and Preservation of Buddhist Manuscripts in Central and East Asia

An International and Intensive Program on Buddhism at Cambridge: Conference


August 2018, University of Hamburg
Varieties and Patterns of Manuscripts in Medieval Japan

Varieties and Patterns of Manuscripts in Medieval Japan


July 2018, Peking University
Fourth International Conference on the Wutai Cult: Identity and Networks in Buddhism and East Asian Religions

The Wutai International Institute of Buddhism and East Asian Cultures (WII), Research Center for Buddhist Texts and Arts (RCBTA) at Peking University, Institute for Ethics and Religions Studies (IERS) at Tsinghua University, Center for East Asian Religions at the University of Zhejiang (ZU-CEAR), and the Buddhist Studies Forum at the University of British Columbia (UBC-BSF) jointly organized an international conference at the Great Sage Monastery of the Bamboo Grove on Mount Wutai, Shanxi province, China. The three-day conference had 11 speakers, 55 specialists, and 85 participants.

For news coverage, click here.


June 2018, University of Oxford
Workshop on Exploring Mahāyāna Sūtra Anthologies: Reading workshop on the Zhujing yaoji (T 847)

Led by Professor Paul Harrison (Stanford University), this workshop was devoted to reading selections from a Mahāyāna sūtra anthology of uncertain date extant only in Chinese, the Dasheng xiuxing pusa xingmen zhujing yaoji 大乘修行菩薩行門諸經要集 (T 847), translated in 721 by Zhiyan 智嚴. After a general introduction to this type of literature, paying particular attention to the Sūtrasamuccaya attributed to Nāgārjuna and the well-known Śikṣāsamuccaya of Śāntideva, participants read and discussed two or three sample sections of the Zhujing yaoji, comparing them with other versions of the source texts in question and, if appropriate, with citations of the same passages in the Sūtrasamuccaya and the Śikṣāsamuccaya. Copies of the texts to be read was made available to all participants of the workshop.

Those wishing to take part was asked to be able to read at least one of the following languages: Chinese, Sanskrit, Tibetan.


April 2018, University of British Columbia
Buddhist Beast: Reflections on Animals in Asian Religions and Culture

Buddhist Beasts: Reflections on Animals in Asian Religions and Culture


Jan-Nov 2018, University of Cambridge
Dunhuang Seminar Series, 2018

Dunhuang Seminar Series, 2018


December 2017, University of Oxford
Workshop on Mahāyāna and the Precepts: Readings from the Fanwan jing 梵網經 and the Baoliangju jing 寶梁聚經 (Ratnarāśisūtra)

Together with SOAS (University of London), a workshop on the topic “Mahāyāna and the Precepts: Readings from the Fanwan jing 梵網經 and the Baoliangju jing 寶梁聚經 (Ratnarāśisūtra)”, led by Professor Funayama Toru (Kyoto University) and Jonathan A. Silk (Leiden University). This workshop were partially supported by the Glorisun Fund.

To learn more, click here.


November 2017, Peking University
Third International Conference of Huayan Studies and Symposium of Second International Huayan Culture Festival

The Research Center for Buddhist Texts and Arts at Peking University 北京大學佛教典籍與藝術中心 and the Department of Philosophy 北京大學哲學系 organized the meeting third International Conference of Huayan Studies 第三屆世界華嚴學大會. Experts and scholars of colleges and institutes from China, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, Korea and more presented at the conference.

For news coverage, click here.


October 2017, Yale University
Workshop on Early Chinese Buddhist Translations

Led by Professor Jan Nattier, the specific topic of the workshop was on two unusual Chinese versions of the story of the final nirvana (i.e., the death) of the Buddha’s foster mother, Mahāprajāpatī: 大愛道般泥洹經 (T144) and 佛母般泥洹經(T145). The workshop considers, first of all, how to evaluate the translator attributions given in the received tradition. Having established the probable dates and attributions of these texts, the workshop reads through the two stories, discusses what to do with Buddhist names and terms that are not registered in existing dictionaries. The workshop then compares these two Chinese versions with other versions of the story extant in Chinese, Tibetan, and Pāli, in an attempt to place the texts that were read within their historical context.

To learn more, click here.


September 2017, University of Cambridge
Chinese Manuscripts from Bamboo Slips to Buddhist Scrolls: Forms and Practices, Continuities and Innovations

The event was held on September 16-17 at the Needham Research Institute and was attended by 20 scholars, plus about the same number of non-presenting participants. In addition to Glorisun, which was the main sponsor, we also had support from the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Robinson College. The conference was highly successful and was by all accounts a worthwhile event.


May 2017, Yale University
Workshop on Chance and Contingency in Indian Philosophy

During this one-day workshop, eight top scholars were invited from institutions in Japan, North America and Europe. These scholars were invited to deliver papers on topics related to philosophical considerations in Buddhism. Ideas were exchanged through rich discussions, and they were able to advance their own personal understandings.


January 2017, Princeton University
International Conference on Buddhist Manuscript Cultures

3-day conference with 11 papers and 1 keynote address on Buddhist manuscripts from Sanskrit, Tibetan, Tangut, Khotanese, Chinese, and Japanese.  Attendance: 135, including 40 PhD students whose travel was supported by Glorisun funding.

Conference website, including program can be found here.