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A 10-day program combining a lecture series, a conference/forum, and fieldwork on Buddhism and East Asian Cultures was successfully held in DILA, Taiwan, between December 10 and December 19, 2016. This event was a winter version of the summer program on Buddhism and East Asian cultures that has been organized by Jinhua Chen, a UBC professor on East Asian Buddhism, and has been annually held in different sites of mainland China since 2008. The winter program was initiated in 2014 on Mount Emei 峨眉 in Sichuan, as a response to the exceptional enthusiasm with which both international and domestic students have embraced the increasingly successful and popular summer program.
Attracting 120 participants, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and tenure-track faculty members coming from East Asia (including Taiwan and mainland China), Europe and North America, the winter program was staged at the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA), Taiwan. DILA, in cooperation with the Sheng-yen Education Foundation, the Buddhist Studies Center in the Humanities College at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou 廣州, China, and the Buddhist Studies Forum at the University of British Columbia (UBC-BSF) in Vancouver, Canada, has generously sponsored the program.
Through this program, three international scholars, Jinhua Chen (UBC), Imre Galambos (Cambridge) and Vincent Goossaert (École pratique des hautes), were invited to each deliver a series of four lectures on a specific topic. These three lecture series were supplemented by six individual lectures on Buddhism and East Asian cultures that were delivered by six scholars based on Taiwan and mainland China.
In addition to these lectures, this program has sponsored three more projects. First, a Young Scholars’ Forum on Buddhism and East Asian Cultures was held between December 15-16, 2016. It attracted 50 young scholars from all over the world to present their work. Secondly, a series of one-hour sessions named “Taste of the Dharma,” provided monastic experiences that included seated meditation, tea-ceremony and other temple rituals. Finally, the program organized visits to several renowned historical sites (especially Buddhist and other religious temples and shrines) in northern part of Taiwan.