The University of Toronto
“Established in 1827, the University of Toronto has one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in depth and breadth on any other Canadian campus. […] The University is Canada’s most important research institution and has gained an international reputation for its research. It enrols more students, employs more faculty, and offers a greater range of courses than any other Canadian university. […] To support its work of teaching and research, the University has collected a library that is the largest in Canada and among the best in the world. The University maintains many laboratories and specialized aids to research. The Library and many of these research facilities are available for use by members of other universities. The University of Toronto Press Inc. is the chief institution of its kind in Canada and one of the most important scholarly publishers in North America”. Read more.
Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto
The University of Toronto’s Buddhist Studies profile is one of the strongest and most diverse in Canada. It can count among its past or emeriti faculty scholars such as Jeffrey L. Moussaieff Masson, Bimal K. Matilal, Neil McMullin, Leonard Priestley, and Arthur K. Warder. Currently, the three core Buddhist Studies faculty are Christoph Emmrich , who works on Newar Nepal and Burma, Frances Garrett who specializes on the Tibetan cultural area, and Amanda Goodman, whose fields are the Silk Road and China. Amanda, Christoph, and Frances pursue research interests that include children, death and dying, digital humanities, food, gender, historiography, lineage, mapping, medicine, material culture, memory, ritual, time, and travel. In addition to the core Buddhist Studies faculty, UofT includes faculty in other departments such as History, Fine Art, East Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and Psychology, whose research and teaching overlaps with various areas of Buddhism. A Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health undergraduate program is offered by UofT’s New College.
UofT has a vibrant Buddhist Studies graduate student community with currently just under ten doctoral students and half a dozen masters students working towards their degree in Religion. Several more students, enrolled in in other programs such as History, Art History, and Philosophy, collaborate with Buddhist Studies faculty. The Department for the Study of Religion offers both MA and PhD programs in Buddhist Studies. Undergraduates can major in Buddhist Studies or acquire a specialist degree in Buddhist Studies by including the study of one of the languages of Buddhism to their major degree program. Languages offered on a regular basis and on all levels are Chinese, Pali, Tibetan, and Sanskrit as group courses and Buddhist Sanskrit, literary Burmese, and Newar in directed readings.
UofT is proud to be, together with McMaster University, the home of one of the oldest North American Numata programmes, funded by the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK). This programme allows for an annual lecture series of up to twelve events held at either university, including lectures, reading group meetings, and regular research symposia. For about forty years now the Numata programme has been bringing leading scholars of Buddhism to Toronto.
Since Fall 2016, the University of Toronto is home of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies that “supports academic training, collaborative research with graduate and undergraduate students, and a program of events that engage scholars and the public seeking to deepen understanding of the diversity of Buddhist traditions around the world”. It is through its UofT Centre that The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation is generously sponsoring the XVIIIth Congress of the IABS.
South and Southeast Asian Studies at UofT
South Asian Religion at UofT: “Welcome to the South Asian Religion faculty and student community at the University of Toronto, one of the top academic research, graduate and undergraduate teaching institutions in North America. If you are interested in studying the religious literatures, practices, institutions and histories of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma or the Himalayas, from premodern to present times, please join us and take a closer look at our work and the profile of our institution”. Read more.
Centre for South Asian Studies: “Established in 1981, University of Toronto’s Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) fosters academic research, teaching and public discussion on South Asia, and through these, global questions. Now a constitutive unit of the Asian Institute at the Munk School for Global Affairs, and supported by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, with core faculty across the University of Toronto’s three campuses, the Centre is a key international hub for critical conversations across the humanities and social sciences on South Asian worlds, both inside and outside the subcontinent”. Read more.
Centre for South Asian Civilizations: “The Centre for South Asian Civilizations (CSAC) at the University of Toronto promotes greater understanding of South Asia through vibrant and informed conversations and explorations of the region’s cultures, histories, languages, religions, and peoples. With faculty expertise in the fields of archaeology, art history, languages, history, and the history of religions, CSAC provides resources for the study of South Asian pasts and their contemporary relevance. With the rise of the political, economic, and cultural influence of South Asia, knowledge of this region and its history is of increasing global relevance, and the Centre supports a wide range of activities related to the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, including colloquia, public lectures, creative performances, research affiliations, and study abroad opportunities”. Read more.
Centre for Southeast Asian Studies: “The University of Toronto houses one of the strongest concentrations of scholars in North America working on Southeast Asia in the social sciences and the humanities. The Centre for Southeast Asian Studies is comprised of scholars working and teaching on Southeast Asia at the University of Toronto. The Centre’s mandate is to provide a forum to discuss, initiate, plan, and coordinate research, teaching, and other activities relating to Southeast Asia. As a constituent unit of the Asian Institute, the Centre seeks to complement the broader coordinating role of Asian Studies at the University of Toronto by providing a more focused attention to teaching, research, and other activities relating to Southeast Asian studies”. Read more.
Religion at UofT
“For the past 30 years the Department for the Study of Religion (DSR) has fostered scholarly excellence and innovation among faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in the humanities and social sciences at U of T’s three campuses. Religion is taught in three distinct contexts: at the UTSG (the downtown campus), where both undergraduate and graduate units are located; in the Department of Historical Studies at UTM, responsible for undergraduate teaching; and in the Department of Humanities at UTSC, with a religion undergraduate minor program. With 21 tenured or tenure-stream faculty, the DSR is among the largest religion departments in Canada, and it is highly regarded internationally for a range of strengths, including religions of Mediterranean Antiquity, Buddhist Studies, Islamic Studies, the anthropology of Christianity, and modern Jewish thought”. Read more.
East Asian Studies at UofT
Department of East Asian Studies : “The Department of East Asian Studies provides students the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the languages, cultures, and societies of the region. The department’s course offerings engage the diversity of East Asian cultures, from contemporary film and politics to ancient philosophy, and they critically examine the structures that define the area and render it an object of study. We offer Chinese, Japanese, and Korean from beginning to advanced levels, and a full range of courses on East Asian literature, history, thought, religion, and society. In a time of globalization, a degree in East Asian Studies can be an excellent springboard from which to launch a career in fields where bilingualism, critical analytical skills, and in-depth knowledge of the socio-historical and cultural contexts of East Asian texts and ideas are essential. Our major and specialist programs thus build the foundation for careers in teaching and research, international business and law, foreign service, and cultural institutions”. Read more.
Centre for the Study of Korea: “As the central hub for Korean Studies at the University of Toronto, the Centre for the Study of Korea brings together faculty, students and the broader public to learn about Korea and its connections to the Asia-Pacific region, North America and the world. We draw upon the research expertise of our faculty affiliates across the humanities and social sciences to foster a vibrant intellectual community of dialogue and collaboration. We host a public lecture series that attracts internationally known scholars from across North America and East Asia. We organize academic conferences and workshops that promote collaborative research and interdisciplinary exchange. Our public symposia stimulate debate and critical reflection on some of the most pressing issues facing Korea and the world today, including “The Afterlives of the Korean War” symposium which featured scholarly lectures, cultural performances and films over two days in October 2014”. Read more.
East Asia Library: “The history of the East Asian Library goes back a long time. In 1933, the Rev. William C. White, former Anglican Bishop of Henan, China, heard of a fine Chinese library for sale. It consisted of about 40,000 volumes collected by a scholar Mr. Mu Hsueh Hsun (1880 – 1929). He was the former secretary at the German Legation in Peking. Bishop White immediately put in an offer of $10,500 which was accepted. Then Bishop White, Dr. Sigmund Samuel, Sir Robert Mond, and Professor John C. Ferguson put together a donation for the purchase of the library. The Mu Collection was catalogued in Peking. It reached Toronto in 1935. This marked the beginning of the Chinese collection. “ Read more.
Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library: “The Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library is the largest research collection outside of Hong Kong and consists of 50,000 volumes, including 2,500 periodical titles, 1000 reels of microfilm, 7,000 newspaper clippings and an expanding collection of audio & visual materials on Hong Kong and Canada-Hong Kong studies”. Read more