2008 UBC-Renda Summer Program in Buddhist Studies

July 7-August 23, 2008, Beijing & Luoyang, China

Lecture Series Lecturers Student Participants
Conference Young Scholars Forum Schedule


The University of British Columbia (UBC) and Renmin University of China in Beijing (Zhongguo renmin daxue 中國人民大學; or Renda 人大) cordially invite applications for a six-week summer program in Buddhist studies (July 7-August 23, 2008).  After spending one to two weeks in Beijing, we will move to Luoyang, where the program will convene at Baimasi 白馬寺 (White Horse Monastery), which is believed to be the first Buddhist monastery in China (and in East Asia, as well).

Through this program, UBC and Renda have invited seven scholars to open seven seminars on specific topics. These instructors include (alphabetically):

  1. Jinhua Chen (University of British Columbia, Associate Professor), “Reading between the Lines: Monastic Biographical and Hagiographical Readings in Medieval East Asia”;
  2. Max Deeg (Cardiff University, Senior Lecturer), “Blissful Cultivation and Violent Conversion: Buddhist Foundation Legends in India, in the Himālayas and in Central Asia”;
  3. Toru Funayama (University of Kyoto, Associate Professor), “The Encounter of India and China: Chinese Buddhist Translations and Apocrypha”;
  4. Ray Ho (Assistant Professor, Tzu-chi University): “Buddhism and the Contemporary World: Issues and Solutions Suggested from Buddhist Perspectives”;
  5. John R. McRae (Emeritus Professor, University of Indiana), “Meditation and Mythology in Chinese Buddhism”;
  6. Antonello Palumbo (Lecturer, SOAS, University of London, Lecturer): “Religious Propaganda and Apologetics in Medieval China”;
  7. Tansen Sen (Associate Professor, State University of New York), “Buddhist Networks in Asian History”.

All the lectures will be delivered in English, although the Question-answer sessions can be conducted bilingually (English/Chinese, or English/Japanese). In addition to these seven seminars, the program also sponsors the following activities, in which participation is optional:

  1. Weekly workshops, in each of which four to six students will be invited to present their papers. The papers will be commented on by scholar-instructors with relevant expertise. International students will be also joined by their peers from top Chinese universities.
  2. Occasional visits to renowned local historical sites (especially Buddhist temples in Beijing and Luoyang).

This is not a degree program, but credits will be conferred by the Renmin University of China for courses taken, and a certificate will be issued to each participant.  A student is allowed to register for up to four seminars offered by this program (there is, however, no limit on the number of seminars to be audited).  Graduate students specializing in any Buddhist tradition, or advanced undergraduate students (3rd or 4th year) with some basic knowledge in Buddhism, are encouraged to apply.  Applications (with updated curricula vitae) must be sent to Jinhua Chen (jinhua.chen@ubc.ca) by May 31, 2008 (for applicants to be considered for fellowships), or June 15, 2008 (for applicants not asking for fellowships).

Program Expenses: US$2,000, which includes tuition fees, housing expenses, and administration costs in Beijing and Luoyang.  Students are expected to cover their own air-tickets and ground transportation during their stays in China.  Some full (at the value of US$2,000) and half (US$1000) fellowships are available.

Enrollment: 60