Projects and aims

Bristol Buddhist Studies serves as a focus for the co-ordination of collaborative study and research in Buddhist Studies within the South-west of England. Because scholars working in the ‌‌study of Buddhism in the UK are spread very thinly such collaboration and consultation is unfortunately rare. Not only because of its interest and facilities for the study of Buddhism, but also its geographical position, Bristol is well-situated to serve as facilitator and focus for closer consultation and collaboration, and collaborative research between institutions in a field with few active workers is held to be an important direction for the future.

There is an established programme of textual studies with reading classes in Pali and Sanskrit for research students. There is also a research focus on relating textual studies to religious practice in both ancient and modern Buddhist societies.

The Centre for Buddhist Studies is also involved in the promotion of a lecture and seminar series on Buddhism, both within the university and also for the general public.

The Centre has hosted visiting scholars from Croatia, India, Japan, and USA, as well as Charles Wallace Research Fellows from India. The Centre’s MA and PhD programmes in Buddhist studies have attracted students from Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and USA. Graduates in Buddhist studies have progressed to take up academic positions in such institutions as including Central Florida, Carroll, Tel Aviv, Canterbury (UK), Sydney, Sun Yat-Sen (Taiwan) and Dharma Drum (Taiwan).

Among other, individual, projects members of the Centre are currently engaged in a large-scale cooperative project to study Buddhist death rituals of Southeast Asia and China.