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The FSU Buddhist Studies Program focuses on the academic study of Buddhism across a broad spectrum of historical, doctrinal, and cultural formations. The program offers a variety of research opportunities, scholarly events, and outreach activities, often in collaboration with other departments and programs on campus. Opportunities include M.A. and Ph.D. graduate training in Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese Buddhism, competitive graduate fellowships, such as the Sheng Yen Buddhist Studies Lecture Series , the Tessa J. Bartholomeusz Lecture Series in Religion, invited lectures, and graduate student conferences.

Sheng Yen Buddhist Lecture Series 2015

Taking Critical Buddhism Seriously by Dr. Robert Sharf
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Location: Dodd Hall Auditorium

In the 730s, the Chan Master Heze Shenhui 菏泽神會 (670-762) gave a series of public lectures in the Chinese capital in which he boldly attacked many of the most prominent meditation masters of his day. Shenhui vilified them for lying about their teaching credentials, for their lack of spiritual insight, and for their misguided approach to practice. He promoted his alternative under the banner of Southern Chan; he claimed that only his lineage was capable of transmitting Śākyamuni's essential insight. In the mid 1980s, Hakamaya Noriaki 袴谷憲昭 and Matsumoto Shirō 松本史朗, both Buddhist scholars as well as Sōtō Zen priests at Komazawa University in Tokyo, made waves by attacking Japanese Buddhism in general, and the Sōtō school in particular. >>Read More


Graduate Work in Buddhist Studies

Graduate work in Buddhist Studies at Florida State University begins with the M.A. degree, which provides interdisciplinary training in the study of religion and in the historical and anthropological study of Buddhism under the rubric of the Department of Religion’s History and Ethnography of Religions track. Students in the M.A. program may choose to specialize in Tibetan, Chinese or Japanese Buddhism and will pursue advanced research in the social and cultural histories, rituals, practices, literatures, and philosophies relevant to these Buddhist traditions. Students may choose to continue toward the Ph.D. degree here at FSU or elsewhere.

FSU vaults to top-tier in Asian studies

With the purchase of a massive, 25,000-volume collection of books and other materials related to religion and culture in Asia, Florida State University has vaulted into the front ranks of universities that offer Asian studies in the southeastern United States. >>Read More.

Sheng Yen Professorship in Chinese Buddhist Studies and Fellowship for Graduate Students

In March, 2011, the Sheng Yen Education Foundation of Taiwan gave two gifts—totaling $160,000—to the Department of Religion, says Nancy Smilowitz, Assistant Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. One gift will create an endowed professorship, and the other will create two ongoing graduate fellowships. >>Read More