Visiting Scholars

Scholars visiting University of British Columbia

LIU Yi (Capital Normal University)

Visiting dates: August–October 2019

Liu Yi is professor and Dean of School of History at Capital Normal University and also the secretary of the Association of the Dunhuang and Turpan studies in China. His research interests include the Dunhuang studies and the medieval history of religion. For the past 20 years, he has been working on the history of Daoism and the Daoist scriptures. In terms of the former, he challenges the historical paradigm in which the sect of the Celestial Masters came directly down from the sect of the Five Pecks of Rice in the early Daoist history. In terms of the latter, he has specialized in the studies of such Daoist texts as Scripture on Great Peace, Xiang’er’s Commentary on Laozi, and Classic on Laozi’s Conversion of the Barbarians, and the Lingbao Scriptures of the Six Dynasties. He has recently shifted his research to the medieval Buddhist studies and is especially interested in the issue of the “Age of Dharma Decline.” He has published about 110 research articles, book reviews, and translated articles and 6 books and collected volumes. The latest books include Historical Research on the Daoist Guling Baojing in the Six Dynasties (2018) and Research on the History and Scriptures of the Daoism in the Han and Tang Dynasties: Selected Works of Liu Yi (2015).

While visiting University of British Columbia, Prof. Liu Yi delivered a lecture titled “On the “Image of the Extinction of the Dharma” at the Dazhushengku Cave of Baoshan”

LI Huqun (China University of Political Science and Law)

Visiting dates: August 2018–August 2019

Professor Huqun Li is an associate professor at the School of Humanities at China University of Political Science and Law. He was a visiting scholar at Ghent University in 2011. Dr. Li’s areas of specialization include Chinese Philosophy, Buddhism, Confucian Philosophy in Modern and Contemporary China, Philosophy of Religion, Chinese Arts (especially Guqin (Zither) and Kunqu Opera). He has written two books: Traditional Confucianism & Buddhism and Modern Society (2018) and Lectures on Chinese Philosophy (2018), as well as several peer-reviewed articles.

While visiting University of British Columbia, Prof. Huqun Li delivered a lecture titled “On Chinese Qin and Chan Buddhism Literature: to learn from the performance of Guqin”.

XUAN Fang (Academy for Advanced study of Religion, Renmin University of China)

Visiting dates: October 2018

Professor Fang Xuan is a research fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Religion, Renmin University of China, as well as the executive member of Journal of Religion. His main academic interests focuses on Chinese Buddhist meditative tradition and Modern Chinese Buddhism particularly Humanistic Buddhism (Renjian fojiao), in which fields he published a book and more 40 articles. He is also the guest professor of many Buddhist academic institutes.

While visiting University of British Columbia, Prof. Xuan Fang delivered a lecture titled “From Tranquility (ji 寂) to Illumination (zhao 照): The Jizhao Temple in the Context of Social Changes in Dali Prefecture”.

GONG Jun (Sun Yat-Sen University)

Visiting dates: October 2018

Professor Gong Jun is currently based in the Department of Philosophy at Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China). His research interest covers Chan Buddhism, the intellectual history of Chinese Buddhism, and Chinese philosophy. Gong has authored a number of influential monographs such as Dacheng qixin lun yu Foxue zhongguohua (The Awakening of Faith and Sinolization of Buddhism, 2001), and Chanshi gouchen (Essays Investigating the Hidden Historical Facts about Chan Buddhism, 2006). Overall, Gong’s work demonstrates a very fine combination of philosophical debates with textual analysis.

While visiting University of British Columbia, Professor Gong Jun delivered a lecture titled “Taixu’s Global Buddhist Movement and his Discourse on Civilization: A Study Centered around the 1920s”.

Weijen TENG (Dharma Drum Institute)

Visiting dates: July–August 2018

Professor Weijen Teng currently teaches at Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, Taiwan. He completed his BA degree in Pali and Theravada Buddhism at University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, MA in Sanskrit at University of Poona, India. He then enrolled in another MA program in Religious Studies at University of Chicago, and lastly received his PhD in Religious Studies at Harvard University. Professor Teng’s research interests include Buddhist Theory of Mind and Meditation, Intellectual History of Chinese Buddhism, and more recently Buddhism and modernity.

While visiting University of British Columbia, Professor Weijen Teng delivered a lecture titled “On the strategy and method of Kuiji’s(632-682) exegetics”.

Venerable Dr. SHENG Kai (Tsinghua University)

Visiting dates: August–November 2017

Venerable 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. He is the author of following books: The Buddhist Ritual of China, Study on the Confessional Ritual of Chinese Buddhism, The Buddhist Confessional Thought, Study on the School of Mahayana-samuparigraha-sastra. He specializes in Buddhist Confession, Buddhist Pure Land Thought, Yogacara Buddhism and Tathagatagarbha Buddhism. While visiting North America, Venerable Dr. Sheng Kai delivered a lecture entitled “The Philosophy and Practice of Buddhist Confession in the Song Dynasty”, at University of British Columbia, and also at partner universities Princeton and Yale.

 

Scholars visiting Cambridge University

CHAI Jianhong (Zhonghua shuju)

Visiting dates: April–May 2019

Jianhong Chai is one of the leading figures of the field of Dunhuang studies who has published over ten books and over 150 articles and book chapters from the early 1980s onward. In addition, he has written over one hundred book reviews, which were collected into a volume with the title Pinshu lu 品書錄 published in 2009 by Gansu jiaoyu chubanshe. He has worked at the prestigious press Zhonghua shuju for nearly forty years and is currently head of the Editorial Office. In recognition of his exceptional contributions as editor and publisher, he has been granted special allowances from the State Council of the PRC since October 1993. In the mid-1980s and the early 1990s, on two occasions he has been awarded the Advanced Worker Award.

Paul COPP (University of Chicago)

Visiting dates: April–May 2019

Paul Copp is an Associate Professor in Chinese Religion and Thought, East Asian Languages and Civilizations. His first book, The Body Incantatory: Spells and the Ritual Imagination in Medieval Chinese Buddhism is a study of the nature and history of Buddhist incantatory and amuletic practices in Tang China centered in archaeological evidence. At present, his main project is a paleographical and material-historical study of the worlds of anonymous 9th and 10th century Chinese Buddhists whose practices, ritual and scribal, are evidenced by manuscript handbooks and liturgies discovered among the cache of materials from Dunhuang. Its working title is “Seal and Scroll: Buddhism and Manuscript Culture at Dunhuang.”

Venerable Dr. SHENG Kai (Tsinghua University)

Visiting dates: April–May 2019

Venerable 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. He is the author of following books: The Buddhist Ritual of China, Study on the Confessional Ritual of Chinese Buddhism, The Buddhist Confessional Thought, Study on the School of Mahayana-samuparigraha-sastra. He specializes in Buddhist Confession, Buddhist Pure Land Thought, Yogacara Buddhism and Tathagatagarbha Buddhism. While visiting North America, Venerable 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.

Lina WANG (National Library of China/Peking University)

Visiting dates: September–December 2018 

Lina Wang is currently an associate professor of National Library of China. She serves as an editorial board member of Hualin boshi wenku (Hualin Doctoral Dissertation Series) and is associate editor-in-chief of Fojiaoshi yanjiu (Historical Studies of Buddhism). Her research focuses on Buddhism and Buddhist literature, and Buddha’s biographies literature. Specifically, she is in charge of the “Research on the Da Jianfusi Temple”, part of the research on the Chang’an Buddhism and the Silk Road in the Tang Dynasty (15AZJ003). She is also focused on “Research on the relationship between Japanese Buddhism and the Chinese Patriarchal Temples”,  part of the Study on the Patriarchal Temples in Chinese Buddhism.

WANG Yong (Zhejiang University)

Visiting dates: February–April 2017

Dr. Wang Yong is a professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University. He is currently serving as Chair Professor of East Asian Studies, director of the Institute for Japanese Culture Studies, vice president of Chinese Society for Historians of China’s Foreign Relations, and the Chinese Association for Japanese Studies in adjunct. Dr. Wang has worked on the history and culture of Japan and the history of cultural exchanges in East Asia, and created the theory of Book-Road. He directed the Major Bidding Program for the National Social Science Foundation of China, a Major Program for Humanities and Social Science Base of the Ministry of Education of PRC, and the Major Project Translation and Publication of Chinese Cultural Works for the Information Office of the State Council of PRC.

Scholars visiting Harvard University

Bo SUN (National Museum of China)

Visiting dates: September 2019–September 2020

Dr. Bo Sun is an Associate Research Professor and director of Science and Art Office, Exhibition Department in National Museum of China. Since 2010 he participated in curating team of a series of exhibition hosted by National Museum of China ranging from ancient archaeology to contemporary art. In terms of research, his academic interests focus on Chinese religious art after tenth century and material and visual culture exchange in Eurasia. As a visiting scholar of CAM Lab, Harvard University, he currently engages in three research or exhibition projects including paintings used for shuilu rites (水陸法會), visual representation of Avatamsaka Sutra and Chan’an of Tang dynasty.

Chao SUN (China Academy of Art)

Visiting dates: October 2019–September 2020

Chao Sun is a Ph.D. candidate at China Institute for Visual Studies at China Academy of Art. His research focuses on the interface of visual arts, traditional Chinese theatrical imagination, and ritual practice. Since 2013, he has published several academic papers and participated in many seminars, including “The Sacredness and Secularity of the Image” at Peking University in 2014, “The 1st Jingshan Forum Buddhist Image Culture Seminar” at Nanjing University in 2019, and “The University of Chicago/Getty Traveling Seminar in Chinese Art History From Xi’an to Dunhuang: Following Buddhist Traces in Medieval China” in 2019. He is currently working on multimedia visualizations of Buddhist art.

XIE Yifeng (Hunan University)

Visiting dates: September 2019–August 2020

Xie Yifeng is an Assistant Professor in Yuelu Academy at Hunan University. His major research areas are ancient Chinese religious history and religious art in Medieval China. He received a B.A. in History from Sichuan University (2010), M.A. in Chinese History from Zhejiang University (2012), and Ph.D. in Chinese History from Fudan University (2017). From 2014 to 2016, he stayed in Harvard-Yenching Institute as a visiting fellow for three semesters to complete his Ph.D. dissertation on the interactions between Daoism and political culture in the Song period (960–1276), to cooperate with Prof. James Robson. In 2019, he went to Harvard again as a visiting scholar in Chinese Art Media Lab, to cooperate with Prof. Eugene Wang on the topic of Huayan School and its visual culture in Medieval China.

Scholars visiting Oxford University

LI Ying (Beijing Foreign Studies University)

Visiting dates: October–November 2019

Dr. Li Ying is an assistant professor of Asian and African Regional Studies, as well as of Sanskrit and Pali Language and Literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from Peking University (2014), and B.A. from Beijing Foreign Studies University (2007). She specializes in Sanskrit and Pali literature and Cambodian religious iconology, and in history of Cambodian Buddhism and the God-king cult through Cambodian Angkorian Period. She has published several books, journal articles, and newspaper articles on this subject matter. Her two forthcoming publications include: Buddhist Paintings and Sculptures in Cambodia, and Cambodian Buddhism: A Comprehensive Study Based on Paintings and Sculptures.

XIANG Ben (Buddhist Academy of China)

Visiting dates: October 2018–September 2019

Venerable Dr. Ben Xiang is a lecturer at the Buddhist Academy of China in Beijing, China. His research field is Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism. In 2013, he was admitted into the doctoral program at the Bukkyō University to conduct his researches on the Sanskrit text of the Bodhisattvapitaka Sutra. He spent the following five years studying at the university, editing and translating the Sanskrit version of the Bodhisattvapitaka Sutra into Japanese, and combining the Chinese, and Tibetan versions of the Bodhisattvapitaka Sutra along with the translated Sanskrit text into one single text. In March 2018, he completed his Ph.D. studies and was awarded his doctoral degree at the Bukkyō University.

WEI Bin (Wuhan University)

Visiting dates: April–June 2018

Wei Bin is professor of history at Wuhan University and selected scholar for Changjiang Scholars Program (Young Scholars), Ministry of Education of China (April 2017). He studied at Wuhan University and received his BA from the Department of Library Science (1998), his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of History (2001, 2004). Since then he has been working at Wuhan University. His current research interests focus on two topics: 1) Regional History and Local Memory of Early Medieval China; and 2) Cultural Landscapes of Mountains of Early Medieval China.

FUNAYAMA Toru (Kyoto University)

Visiting dates: December 2017

Funayama Toru is currently a professor of Buddhist studies at Kyoto University. His research mainly covers two different areas in the history of Buddhism. One is Chinese Buddhism from the fifth century to seventh century, 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-sūtra, and more. The other is philological and philosophical issues in Buddhist epistemology and logic in India from the fifth century to tenth century, particularly Kamalaśīla’s (the late eighth century) theory of perception.

Jonathan SILK (Leiden University)

Visiting dates: December 2017

Jonathan Silk is a professor in the Study of Buddhism in the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. 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. Professor Silk co-led a workshop on the topic of “Mahāyāna and the Precepts: Readings from the Fanwan jing and the Baoliangju jing (Ratnarāśisūtra)” with Professor Funayama Toru (Kyoto University) in December 9, 2017. This workshop was partially supported by the Glorisun Fund.

Scholars visiting Princeton University

ZHANG Jiamei (Peking University)

Visiting dates: February 2019

Zhang Jiamei, Ph.D. of South Asian Religion & Culture. Associate professor, Head of the Urdu Section of the Department of South Asian Studies at Peking University. As a visiting scholar at Princeton University, and with the help of Professor Stephen F. Teiser, Dr. Zhang proposed a research project on Kara-Khanid Dynasty. Mainly through a text scrutinizing, on the basis of the regional historical context and the change of religious pattern, it tries to find out Kara-Khanid Dynasty’s ideal social construction in 10-11th centuries from a Sufi point of view. During her visit at Princeton, worked with Professor Stephen F. Teiser, Professor Micheal Cook, and Assistant Professor Wen Xin.

HAO Chunwen (Peking University)

Visiting dates: August 2018–January 2019

Professor Hao is a senior professor of the School of History at Capital Normal University, also serving as the head of the university’s Institute of Historical Studies. He received his doctorate in History in 1999 from the Department of History at Capital Normal University. His main areas of research are Dunhuang Documents, Buddhism in China, and Chinese History, especially from the third to thirteenth century. In the past few decades, he has published several monographs on various related topics, served as chief editor for several newsletters and journals, actively participated in academic conferences and visits.

Scholars visiting the University of California, Berkeley

Ester BIANCHI (Perugia University)

Visiting dates: January–May 2020

Ester Bianchi holds a Ph.D. in ‘Indian and East-Asian Civilization’ from the University of Venice (co-tutorial Ph.D. received from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Section des Sciences Religieuses of Paris). She is associate professor of Chinese Religions and Philosophy and of Society and Culture of China, coordinator of the Double Degree in “World Religions and Philosophy” (with the Department of Religious Studies of Fu-Jen University, Taipei), and member of the research group “Culture, Languages, Practices (CLIPRA) at the Philosophy Department of the University of Perugia (Italy). She is also external associated researcher of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités CNRS-EPHE (since 2012) and Research fellow of the Wutai International Institute of Buddhism and East Asian Cultures (since 2016). Her studies focus on the religions of China, particularly on Buddhism, both in imperial and in modern and contemporary time; her research is centered on Sino-Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhist monasticism, the revival of Buddhist monastic discipline and, more recently, the spread of Theravāda Buddhist Model in modern Chinese Buddhism.

While visiting the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Bianchi is teaching a course titled “Buddhism in Modern China” (Chinese C118).

Paul GRONER (University of Virginia)

Visiting dates: August–December 2019

Paul Groner (Ph.D. Yale University) taught at the University of Virginia. His research focused on the Japanese Tendai School during the Heian period and the precepts and ordinations, which led to research on Eison, founder of the Shingon Ritsu sect, and the status of nuns in medieval Japan. In recent years, his interests have extended to the Tendai educational system during the Muromachi Period and to the establishment of Japan’s first public library at the Tendai temple, Kan’eiji. His publications consist of Saichō: The Establishment of the Japanese Tendai School, Ryōgen and Mount Hiei: Japanese Tendai in the Tenth Century, and approximately fifty papers.

While visiting the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Groner co-taught a seminar titled “Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts” (Chinese C223) with Dr. Robert Sharf.

Scholars visiting the University of Hong Kong

Venerable Dr. WEI Shan (Renmin University)

Visiting dates: March–September 2019

Ven. Dr. Wei Shan obtained B.A. from the Buddhist Academy of China (1997), and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (2000, 2005). He has taught Buddhism at the School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China since 2006, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. His research focuses mainly on Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma philosophy, Theravāda, and Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy. He has published an academic work on Sarvāstivāda meditation in Chinese and several articles both in Chinese and English. During his visit, Ven. Dr. Wei Shan delivered two lectures titled: “Controversy over acittasamāpatti (無心定 attainment without thought) among the Abhidharma schools” and “Humanistic Buddhism (人間佛教) in Mainland China: Criticism and Counter-criticism on Yinshun”.

Scholars visiting Yale University

Kirill SOLONIN (Renmin University)

Visiting dates: January–February 2018

Sinologist, Buddhologist, Kirill Solonin received his Ph.D. degree (1997) and doctorate (2007) from St. Petersburg University. After a few years working in his alma mater and in the Institute for Oriental Manuscript Research, Solonin moved to Taiwan where he worked in several universities and research institutes, including Fu Jen Catholic University, before being appointed as the Assistant Professor in Fo Guang University where he taught East Asian Buddhism. Since 2013, Solonin was appointed as professor in the Department of Chinese Classics in Renmin University of China. Solonin specializes in Buddhist Studies, Tangut Studies, linguistics and Sino-Tibet cultural exchange, among others. He has published a monograph and many articles on Chinese and Tangut Buddhism.

Xing Zhang (Peking University)

Visiting dates: July–August 2019

Dr. Xing Zhang is Associate Professor and Head of the Section of South Asian Culture at the Department of South Asian Studies and Research Center of Eastern Literature, Peking University, China. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in Germany and Visiting Professor and Researcher at Université de Montréal, in Canada. Her research focuses on South Asian culture, Indian languages and literature, and intercultural studies. Her research and fieldwork have been supported by grants and fellowships from Germany, Singapore, and Canada. She also served as a member of several research projects supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China. She has published a number of articles in SSCI and CSSCI journals, and is the author of two English monographs published in Germany and Singapore. At the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, she will be working on the changing cosmology and knowledge of tigers among Buddhist communities in South and East Asia.

Jinping WANG (National University of Singapore)

Visiting dates: April 2017

Jinping Wang is an assistant professor of History at the National University of Singapore. She is a social-cultural-political historian of pre-modern China, and holds a Ph.D. from Yale University (2011). Her research interests include Chinese history, Chinese religions, regional studies, and the Mongol-Yuan and Ming Empires. Her first book In the Wake of the Mongols will be published by Harvard in 2018. Dr. Wang is currently working on two new projects, “Cultural history of Quanzhen Daoism” and “Empire on the Ground: A Social History of Ming-Mongol Relations in the Northern Frontiers.”(Photo and text from Professor Wang’s NUS official webpage: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/hist/About-Us/Faculty.html)

HAO Chunwen (Capital Normal University)

Visiting dates: August–November 2017

Professor Hao is a senior professor of the School of History at Capital Normal University, also serving as the head of the university’s Institute of Historical Studies. He received his doctorate in History in 1999 from the Department of History at Capital Normal University. His main areas of research are Dunhuang Documents, Buddhism in China, and Chinese History, especially from the third to thirteenth century. In the past few decades, he has published several monographs on various related topics, served as chief editor for several newsletters and journals, actively participated in academic conferences and visits. He delivered two lectures at Yale University: “Interactions between Indian and Chinese Culture in Buddhist Monasteries in 9th-10th Century Dunhuang”, and “Traditional Community Associations (she 社) and Buddhism in Medieval China”.