The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

A Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford

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Lectureships Campaign

OCBS' Lectureships Campaign aims to establish within the University of Oxford a centre of excellence for the study of Buddhism. The goal is to raise funds to endow permanently a Lectureship in Pali and early Buddhism.

Thanks to the efforts of Richard Gombrich, and the generosity of a benefactor, Oxford today has the only chair in Buddhism in the whole of Europe. In order for a centre of excellence to be established we need to expand the scope of Buddhist studies at Oxford.

If you wish to make a major gift please call Richard Gombrich

on +44 (0)1865 766830 or e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The full endowment of the Lectureship would enable the donor to specify its title.

We are also collecting funding to go to the teaching of this subject through short-term appointments. If you would like to contribute to this, please click on the Donate Button found at the bottom of the Pali Lectureship page.


Thank you.




Lectureship in Early Buddhism

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, known in English as the Pali Canon. This huge collection of texts is our main source for the teachings of early Buddhism, indeed of the Buddha himself. For Theravada Buddhists it is the functional equivalent of the Bible for Christians.

The Buddha lived when writing was not in use in ancient India, so we cannot precisely judge the accuracy of the claim that the texts in the Pali Canon report his very words; scholars disagree about it. However, we can be sure of two things: that those texts have a far better claim to reflect the Buddha’s ideas than any other set of texts; and that their language, Pali, while it does not exactly reflect the Buddha’s own speech, comes closer to doing so than any other language in which substantial texts survive.


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