84000 Establishes Assistant Professorship in Buddhist Studies at University of Toronto

Applying academic methods to the study and translation of Tibetan Buddhist texts



July 19, 2021, Toronto—

The University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion has received a grant from global non-profit 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha to help establish a new Assistant Professor position that will further enhance its growing Buddhist studies program. The person holding the position established as the result of this five-year renewable grant will focus principally on teaching Classical Tibetan and conducting research related to the texts in the Tibetan Buddhist canon.


Dr. Rory Lindsay, editor at 84000, assumed this Assistant Professor position from July 1, 2021. Dr. Lindsay completed his doctorate in Tibetan studies at Harvard University in 2018 and is a Visiting Scholar at the Buddhist Texts Translation Initiative at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). In addition to his editorial work at 84000, he is currently preparing several publications, including his first book, Saving the Dead: Tibetan Funerary Rituals in the Tradition of the Sarvadurgatipariśodhana Tantra, which will be published in the University of Vienna’s Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde series later this year.


Both the University of Toronto and 84000 believe that this partnership will further strengthen the reach and relevance of Buddhist Studies in North America. Through the application of academic standards and methodology to study of the Buddha’s teachings and translation of Tibetan Buddhist texts into English, it will widen access to—and deepen understanding of—them.


“The Department for the Study of Religion is so excited to have Dr. Rory Lindsay joining us, and we’re so grateful for the support from 84000 and from the Faculty of Arts and Science at U of T,” said Professor Pamela Klassen, Chair of the Department for the Study of Religion. “Rory is going to bring his expertise in Buddhist studies and Tibetan language, allowing this partnership to place Tibetan studies and Buddhist studies on a stronger footing, which is so important for the Study of Religion.”


Beyond allowing the university to expand its scholarship and teaching in the area of Tibetan language, the assistant professor will be taking on an editorial role with the nonprofit organization in pursuit of its one-hundred-year vision to translate and publish the Tibetan Buddhist Canon in English.


“We are thrilled to facilitate the creation of a new Buddhist studies professorship at the University of Toronto. This is truly a joint effort, and one whose impact will extend beyond the boundaries of a single university,” said Huang Jing Rui, executive director of 84000. “With this precedent set, we look forward to further opportunities for partnership across the academic arena, to help strengthen the tradition and future of Buddhist studies in North America.”


The city of Toronto is home to a diverse community with a strong Tibetan presence and ensuring the integrity of Buddhist studies and Tibetan language programs provides additional opportunities for the University to advance both scholarship and community engagement.


This partnership complements 84000’s recent announcement of postdoctoral fellowships, its role in establishing the Buddhist Texts Translation Initiative at University of California Santa Barbara, and underscores its commitment to ensuring that a legion of skilled translators of Classical Tibetan remains available now and into the future.

About U of T’s Department for the Study of Religion: https://www.religion.utoronto.ca/about-us

The Department for the Study of Religion (DSR) at the University of Toronto is one of the best and most comprehensive religion departments in the world, with faculty who encompass diverse theoretical and methodological approaches spanning many religious and spiritual traditions and over forty source languages. A vibrant site of research and teaching, the DSR offers an interdisciplinary environment for the critical study of religion as both a concept and practice at work in the world.

Learn more about the DSR with this 1-minute video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtnk8o5xyWA

Posted: 19 Jul 2021