About Us

We are pleased to announce the Glorisun Global Network for Buddhist Studies!

The Glorisun Global Network for Buddhist Studies received funding from the Glorisun Charitable Foundation and officially launched in January 2017.

The Glorisun Charitable Foundation was founded by Dr. Charles Yeung, the Founder and Chairman of Glorious Sun Enterprises Limited, on July 27, 2005. A major aim of the foundation consists in promoting Buddhism and Buddhist studies globally.

Dr. Yeung, from Huizhou, Guangdong, is the recipient of the title Justice of the Peace of Hong Kong and the Golden Bauhinia Star medal, awarded by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Dr. Yeung is currently the chairman of Glorious Sun Group while also serving several social positions: Dr. Yeung is the Permanent Honorary President of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong, the Permanent Honorary President of Hong Kong Culture Association, the Chief President of the Federation of Hong Kong Community Organisations, and a member of the governing board of Jinan University, Guangzhou.
Dr. Yeung arrived in Hong Kong in 1967. Starting from scratch, he created his first company in 1974; and in 1978, he returned to Mainland China to invest and open factories, including clothing factories, clothing chain stores and real estate businesses. The corporation experienced four transformations: it evolved from a clothing-fabrication business to become a chain clothing retail store, and was later re-invented as a real-estate and a financial investment business. Glorious Sun Group has a net asset of over 20 billion Hong Kong dollars, and owns real-estate, financial and clothing businesses in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mainland China and Hong Kong. Since his career success, Dr. Yeung has been advocating that a modern entrepreneur should shoulder the “social responsibilities of the enterprise”, and should see it as his/her own duty to be of service for the world. Over the course of many years, Glorious Sun Group, led by Dr. Yeung, has donated over 3.1 billion Hong Kong dollars for remedying poverty, supporting education and relieving natural disasters in Hong Kong, Mainland China and elsewhere in the world.

As the global importance of East Asia grows and its cultural identities are asserted ever more strongly, scholars in many fields are recognizing the vital importance of studying Buddhism and East Asian Religions. Scholarship over the past decade has yielded a much richer understanding of both historical and contemporary religious phenomena, partly thanks to the discovery of texts and artifacts, and increased opportunities for ethnographic observation. Despite these advances, many of the disciplinary divisions that have configured the modern academy continue to act as barriers to innovative research on Buddhism and East Asian Religions. Scholars trained in different disciplines and housed in different departments at academic institutions continue to work in relative isolation, with few able or willing to address their subjects from different disciplinary perspectives. Similarly, despite the relative ease of communication and transportation in facilitating dialogue, cultural, linguistic, and geographic boundaries continue to separate academic communities between and within Europe, North America, and East Asia. The gulf dividing East Asian scholars from colleagues in Europe and North America is often perceived as particularly wide. While technology has begun to mitigate some of these challenges, the extensive and long-term collaboration this proposed network entails will help forge enduring professional connections among scholars of many disciplines who make their permanent academic homes at North American, European, and East Asian institutions.

For this purpose, leaders of the programs on the studies of Buddhism and East Asian Religions at the following universities in Europe, North America and East Asia, proposed to set up this informal, legally unbound networking program.  Through the institutional and financial support from both participating units at these member universities and a non-profit foundation under the leadership of Dr. Charles Yeung, who has also kindly acted as the Chief Advisor, the network will academically engage the scholars affiliated with these participating units at these member universities:

  1. Harvard University FAS CAMLab, USA
  2. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  3. Peking University, China
  4. Princeton University, USA
  5. University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada
  6. University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), USA
  7. University of Cambridge, UK
  8. University of Hamburg, Germany
  9. University of Hong Kong (HKU), China
  10. University of Oxford, UK
  11. Yale University, USA

The Foundation will provide different types of financial support for the above listed members. For each of the participating units at these member universities, located both in Europe (Cambridge, Hamburg, and Oxford) and North America (Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UC Berkeley and UBC), and the Middle East (HUJ), the Foundation will provide support annually (for the two universities located in East Asia – Peking University and the University of Hong Kong – the funding is slightly different), for the following programs:

  1. Visiting professorships for senior scholars affiliated with a university in Chinese-speaking countries or regions, enabling him or her to spend three to twelve months in this member university in Europe or North America. There, he or she will regularly interact with the faculty and students working on Buddhism and East Asian cultures, in the form of weekly or biweekly meetings with them. These meetings will include reading one or one group of East Asian religious texts, as well as several public lectures.
  2. Fellowships for advanced graduate students or postdoctoral fellows with a university in Chinese-speaking countries or regions, enabling him or her to spend six to twelve months in the participating units at these member universities in Europe or North America. There, he or she will constantly interact with its faculty and students working on Buddhism and East Asian cultures, including attending seminars and lectures.
  3. Graduate fellowships for Chinese Buddhist Studies, enabling students to spend three to six months in Chinese-speaking countries and regions doing research.
  4. Conference funding for a conference at each institution on Buddhism and East Asian cultures.
  5. Lecture Series funding to sponsor three lectures on Buddhist Studies.
  6. Graduate student fellowships on East Asian Buddhism to support students from Chinese-speaking countries and regions who are regularly enrolled in graduate programs at participating units at these member universities.

 

UBC is responsible for coordinating the network and managing communications between the donor and partner universities, as well as organizes the network’s annual donor reports. Decisions are guided by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives (in the order of entering this network) from the participating units at these member universities:

Zhan Ru (Peking University)

Zhan Ru is a professor in Peking University’s School of Foreign Languages. Additionally, he is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and vice president of the Peking University Orientalism Research Institute. His areas of research include: Buddhist and Buddhist literature, the Indian Ministry of Buddhism, Dunhuang Buddhism, Buddhist system

 

 

Jinhua Chen (University of British Columbia)

Jinhua Chen is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a professor of East Asian intellectual history (particularly religions) at the University of British Columbia, where he also served as the Canada Research Chair in East Asian Buddhism (2001–2011). He has received numerous grants and awards from major funding agencies for his work on East Asian state-church relationships, monastic (hagio-)biographical literature, Buddhist sacred sites, relic veneration, Buddhism and technological innovation in medieval China, and Buddhist translations. Dr. Chen is a prolific author, having published six monographs, and co-edited ten books, and written over seventy book chapters and journal articles.

 

 

Michael Friedrich(University of Hamburg)

Professor Friedrich is a professor in the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies. His main fields of research include Chinese Buddhism in the context of Chinese intellectual history, in particular the formative period up to the 6th century, and the historiography of Chinese Buddhism in modern and contemporary China. He also advises several M.A. and Ph.D. projects and is head of the SFB 950: Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und Europa.

 

 

Stephen Teiser (Princeton University)

Stephen F. Teiser is D. T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies and Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. His work traces the interaction between cultures using textual, artistic, and material remains from the Silk Road, specializing in Buddhism and Chinese religions. He also serves as director of Princeton’s interdepartmental Program in East Asian Studies, and in 2014 he received the Graduate Mentoring Award in the Humanities from Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. He has also edited several books, including Readings of the Platform Sūtra (2012) and Readings of the Lotus Sūtra (2009).

 

 

Ulrike Roesler (University of Oxford, interim representative)

Ulrike Roesler is Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at the University of Oxford. Before joining Oxford in this role, she obtained her Ph.D. in Indian Studies in Germany, taught Indian and Tibetan Studies at the Universities of Marburg and Freiburg in Germany, and was the first Numata Lecturer in Buddhist Studies at Oxford (2005–2007). Her research interests include the transmission of Buddhism from India to Tibet as well as Tibetan historiography, biographical writing, and narrative literature. Her book publications include Lives Lived, Lives Imagined: Biography in the Buddhist Traditions (ed. with L. Covill and S. Shaw, 2010), a study of the 11th century Buddhist master Po to ba Rin chen gsal (Frühe Quellen zum buddhistischen Stufenweg in Tibet, 2011), and Tibetan and Himalayan Healing (ed. with Ch. Ramble, 2015)

 

Matthew Orsborn (University of Oxford, interim representative)

Matthew Orsborn originally hails from New Zealand, but since 2000 has lived, studied and taught in South Africa, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. From 2000 to 2017 he was an ordained monk in a Chinese Buddhist tradition, during which time he studied for an M.A. and later Ph.D. degree at the University of Hong Kong. His teaching and research focus primarily on Indic Buddhist texts and doctrines, both mainstream and Mahayana, through Pali, Sanskrit and Chinese sources, and he has published two monographs, Old School Emptiness: Hermeneutics, Criticism & Tradition in the Narrative of Śūnyatā (2016) and The Structure and Interpretation of Early Prajñāpāramitā: An Analysis via Chiasmic Theory (2017), as well as numerous journal articles in this field. His secondary focus is on the practices and institutions of contemporary Chinese Buddhism, including monastic education, meditation, and ordination. He is presently a Departmental Lecturer at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University

 

Imre Galambos (University of Cambridge)

Imre Galambos specialises in the study of medieval Chinese manuscripts from sites in northwestern China. He received his Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of California, Berkeley with a dissertation on the structure of Chinese characters in the pre-Qin period. For the following 10 years he worked for the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) at the British Library, as a result of which his research gradually shifted to medieval manuscripts from Dunhuang. Since 2012, he has been teaching at the University of Cambridge, where he is now Professor of Chinese. Among his main interests is the dynamics of the spread of texts and manuscripts along the multilingual networks known today as the Silk Roads. His books include Orthography of Early Chinese Writing (2006); Manuscripts and Travellers (co-authored with Sam van Schaik, 2012), Translating Chinese Tradition and Teaching Tangut Culture (2015), and Dunhuang Manuscript Culture (2020).

 

 

Eric Greene (Yale University)
Eric Greene is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies. He specializes in the history of medieval Chinese Buddhism, particularly the emergence of Chinese forms of Buddhism from the interaction between Indian Buddhism and indigenous Chinese culture. Much of his recent research has focused on Buddhist meditation practices, including the history of the transmission on Indian meditation practices to China, the development of distinctly Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, and Buddhist rituals of confession and atonement. In addition to these topics, he has published articles on the early history of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, Buddhist paintings from the Silk Roads, and the influence of modern psychological terminology on the Western interpretation of Buddhism.

 

Robert Sharf (University of California, Berkeley)

Robert Sharf is D. H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley. He works primarily in the area of medieval Chinese Buddhism (especially Chan), but also dabbles in Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist art, ritual studies, and methodological issues in the study of religion. In addition to his appointment in East Asian Languages and Cultures, he is Chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, the Journal for the Study of Chinese Religions, the Journal of Religion in Japan, and the Kuroda Institute Series published in conjunction with University of Hawai‘i Press.

 

Eugene Wang (Harvard University)

Eugene Wang (Ph.D. Harvard, 1997) began teaching at the University of Chicago in 1996 before joining the faculty at Harvard University in 1997. He was appointed the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art at Harvard in 2005. A Guggenheim Fellow (2005) and recipient of American Council of Learned Societies and Getty grants, he served as the art history associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Macmillan, 2004). His extensive publications cover the entire range of Chinese art history from ancient funerary art to modern and contemporary Chinese art and cinema. He serves on the advisory board of the Center for Advanced Studies, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the editorial board of The Art Bulletin.

 

Guang Xing (University of Hong Kong)

Guang Xing received his Ph.D. from School of Oriental and African Studies, at the University of London. He is an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre of Buddhist Studies. His publications include The Concept of the Buddha: Its Evolution from Early Buddhism to the Trikaya Theory (Routledge 2005). He is currently working on two monographs “Filial Piety in Chinese Buddhism” which is complete and “Buddhism and Chinese Culture” and has published many papers such as “A Buddhist-Confucian Controversy on Filial Piety” in Journal of Chinese Philosophy, “Buddhist Impact on Chinese Culture” in Asian Philosophy, and “Filial Piety in Chinese Buddhism” in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Buddhism.

 

Eviatar Shulman (Hebrew University of Jerualem)

Eviatar Shulman is currently the Chair of the Department for Comparative Religion and member of the Department for Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His work focuses mainly on different aspects of Buddhist religion and philosophy, with special interest in recent years in Early, or more generally in Pāli, Buddhism. Among his many publications are Rethinking the Buddha: Early Buddhist Philosophy as Meditative Perception (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and Visions of the Buddha: Creative Dimensions of Early Buddhist Scripture (Oxford University Press, 2021). The latter work outlines a new approach to the composition of the early discourses (Suttas, Sūtras) attributed to the Buddha.

 

 

Program Co-Managers:

Vicky Baker (UBC): vicky.baker@ubc.ca

 

 

 

 

Lina Wang (National Library of China/Peking University): wang_shuwen@126.com

 

 

 

 

Communications Officer:

Carol Lee (UBC): carol.lee@ubc.ca