Visiting Scholars

Scholars visiting UBC

Aug – Nov 2017. Ven. Dr. Sheng Kai (Tsinghua University)

Ven. Dr. Sheng Kai is a Professor in the Philosophy Department of Tsinghua University, the Executive director of the Buddhist Association of China, and a Graduate Teacher of Buddhist Academy of Putuo Mount, Zhejiang Province. In 2008, he was the Associate professor of Philosophy Department of Nanjing University. He studied in the Buddhist Academy of China, Nanjing University, attained MPhil (Nanjing University) in 2002, PhD (Nanjing University) in 2005, and finished Postdoctoral study in Tsinghua University in 2007.

He is the author of following books: (1.)The Buddhist Ritual of China, (2) Study on the Confessional Ritual of Chinese Buddhism, (3) The Buddhist Confessional Thought, (4) Study on the School of Mahayana-samuparigraha-sastra. He specializes in Buddhist Confession, Buddhist Pure Land Thought, Yogacara Buddism and Tathagatagarbha Buddhism.

While visiting North America, Ven. Dr. Sheng Kai delivered a lecture entitled “The Philosophy and Practice of Buddhist Confession in the Song Dynasty”, at UBC, and also at partner universities Princeton and Yale.


Scholars visiting Cambridge University

February – April 2017. Wang Yong (Zhejiang University).


Scholars visiting Oxford University

December 2017. Funayama Toru (Kyoto University)

Funayama Toru, born in 1961, is currently a professor of Buddhist studies at Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. His research mainly covers two different areas in the history of Buddhism. One is Chinese Buddhism from to the fifth/seventh centuries, a period from the late Six Dynasties period up to early Tang; his focuses are on the formation of Chinese Buddhist translation and apocrypha, spread of the notion of Mahāyāna precepts, the exegetical tradition on the Mahāparinirvāṇa-Mahāsūtra, and more.

The other is philological and philosophical issues in Buddhist epistemology and logic in India from the fifth/tenth centuries, particularly Kamalaśīla’s (the late eighth century) theory of perception. In both areas, he is interested in the concept of saintliness as firmly related with the system of practice.

His most recent publications included the study and edition of the Fanwang jingHigashi Ajia bukkyō no seikatsu kisoku Bonmō kyō: saiko no katachi to hatten no rekishi 東アジア仏教の生 活規則『梵網経』最古の形と発展の歴史 (The Scripture of the Pure Divinities’ Netted [Banners] (Fanwang jing), Mahayana Code for Daily Life in East Asian Buddhism: The Oldest Form and Its Historical Evolution), Kyoto: Rinsen shoten, 2017, 528p.

December 2017. Jonathan Silk (Leiden University)

Jonathan Silk, born in 1960, is Professor in the Study of Buddhism at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. He studied East Asian Studies at the Oberlin College in Ohio and subsequently Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan. At the latter university he obtained his PhD in 1994 with the thesis: The Origins and Early History of the Mahāratnakūṭa Tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism, With a Study of the Ratnarāśisūtra and Related Materials.

During his studies, Silk spent several years in Japan. After his PhD, he became Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Grinnell College in Iowa and in 1995 at the Department of Comparative Religion of the Western Michigan University. From 1998 until 2002 he taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, and from 2002 in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Since 2007 he has been Professor in the study of Buddhism at Leiden. In 2010 he was awarded a VICI grant from the NWO (Dutch National Science Foundation) for the  project: “Buddhism and Social Justice.” In 2016 he was elected as a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen [KNAW]). He is currently the principal investigator of the ERC Project “Open Philology,” focusing on the Mahāratnakūṭa collection.

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)” (9 December 2017, London), was led by Prof. Funayama Toru (Kyoto University) and Jonathan A. Silk (Leiden University). This workshop were partially supported by the Glorisun Fund.

Scholars visiting the University of California at Berkeley:

November,2016-201., Zhanru湛如, was hosted by the University of California at Berkeley as a Visiting Professor.

Zhan Ru is the Vice President of the Institute of Oriental Studies, PKU and a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a Committee Member of the CPPCC.

His research fields include: Buddhism and Buddhist Literature, Indian Sectarian Buddhism, Dunhuang Buddhism, Buddhist Regulation and Precepts.


Dunhuang fojiao lüyi zhidu yanjiu敦煌佛教律儀制度研究 (Studies on Monastic Rules in Dunhuang Buddhism). Beijing: Zhonghua shuju 中華書局, 2003.

Jingfa yu Fota: Yindu zaoqi Fojiaoshi yanjiu净法與佛塔—印度早期佛教史研究 (Precepts and Pagodas: Studies on Early Indian Buddhism). Beijing: Zhonghua shuju 中華書局, 2007.

Chanyuan qinggui yanjiu yu jiaoshi「禪苑清規」研究與校釋 (Study and Critical Explanations for the Baizhang Zen Monastic Regulations). Beijing: Shangwu      yinshuguan 商務印書館, 2014.


Scholars visiting Princeton University

WANG Bangwei 王邦維 (Peking University), 5 months—POSTPONED.


Scholars visiting Yale University

April 2017. Jinping Wang (National University of Singapore):

August-November 2017. Hao Chunwen (Capital Normal):

Chunwen Hao is the Dean of the School of History and the Director of the History Institute at Capital Normal University. He is also the Chief Editor of Dunhuangxue guoji liangluo weiyuanhui tongxun 敦煌學國際聯絡委員會通訊 (Newsletter of International Liaison Committee for Dunhuang Studies) and Dunhuang Tulufan yanjiu 敦煌吐鲁番研究 (Studies on Dunhuang and Turfan). Dr. Hao’s work focuses on the Dunhuang Manuscripts, Dunhuang Buddhism, and Chinese medieval history (3rd Century BC to 13th Century; Han to Song Dynasty). He is the Principal Investigator of a Chinese government-sponsored key project (国家社科基金重大项目). Vol 1-12 of Yingcang Dunhuang shehuilishi wenxianshilu 英藏敦煌社会历史文献释录 (The Collections of The Social and Historic Documents from Dunhuang Manuscripts in British Library) have been published in 2015 as part of the project, and the rest of the collection (30 volumes in total) will be published in different stages.

He delivered two lectures at Yale University:

“Interactions between Indian and Chinese Culture in Buddhist Monasteries in 9th-10th Century Dunhuang”

“Traditional Community Associations (she 社) and Buddhism in Medieval China”

November 2017. Ven. Dr. Sheng Kai (Tsinghua University)

He delivered a lecture at Yale University:

“The Philosophy and Practice of Buddhist Confession in the Song Dynasty”