The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

A Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford

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Home Newsletters So-Wide Space January 2012

So-Wide Space January 2012

Article Index
So-Wide Space January 2012
Visit of Dr Kawada
Buddhism: Texts and Tales
Journal of OCBS
Activities at OCBS
Hilary Term Lecture Series
All Pages


Welcome to the January 2012 issue of So-Wide Space. In this issue we have a report from Richard Gombrich on a recent visit to OCBS by Dr Yoichi Kawada, Director of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in Tokyo. We also bring you details of a conference to be held at the Institute of Oriental Philosophy this month in Taplow.



We follow with some more details on our Journal and give you a round up of developments within the OCBS, including the award of our first Student Grant last term and the upcoming Lecture Series.


Thank you for your continued support of So-Wide and OCBS.   We hope things are well with you.


Visit of Dr Kawada to the OCBS

On Tuesday 22 November, the OCBS had the honour and pleasure of a visit from a small delegation from Soka Gakkai International who were in the UK for a few days. Those who came to Oxford were led by Dr Yoichi Kawada, Director of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in Tokyo. Though their visit was arranged at short notice, it happily coincided with a lunch for students of Buddhism which Amy Norman, one of our student affiliates, had taken the initiative to arrange in Wolfson.

After lunch the visitors looked at Wolfson College library, and then called in at the OCBS premises, where they were formally welcomed by Prof. Gombrich and presented some books to our library. We parted with expressions of hope for future cooperation.


Buddhism: Text and Tales - Conference at IOP

We are very pleased to be able to bring you details of this conference upcoming at the Institute of Oriental Philosophy UK in Taplow. Sarah Norman - the IOP librarian - is the Consultant Librarian for OCBS and the speakers include Dr Sarah Shaw, Fellow of the OCBS.

The 86th SAALG (South Asia Archive and Library Group) conference will take place at the Institute of Oriental Philosophy UK on Friday 27th January 2012.

The theme for the day will be Buddhism: Text and Tales and the speakers will present papers looking at different types of Buddhist texts from various parts of Asia and recent cataloguing projects.

During the day there will also be the opportunity to learn more about the Institute of Oriental Philosophy and its Library and a tour of Taplow Court, a mid-19th century mansion, which is home to the Society.

Full details of the conference can be found by clicking here.



Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

It is now two months since Volume One of our Journal was published.  We are pleased to note that we have had several requests for copies to review as well as interest from various libraries around the world. If you know of anyone who you feel would be interested please refer them to for more details.  The Journal is an important way in which we can raise funds. We hope to reach as wide a readership as possible.

Here's the abstract for the first article in the current volume. All further abstracts can be accessed by clicking here.



Brahmā’s Invitation: the Ariyapariyesanā-sutta in the Light of its Madhyama-āgama Parallel.


The present article begins by surveying the role of the ancient Indian god Brahmā in the early Buddhist discourses as exemplifying a tendency referred to in academic research as “inclusivism”. A prominent instance of this tendency can be found in the Ariyapariyesanā-sutta of the Pāli canon, which reports that Brahmā intervened to persuade the recently awakened Buddha to teach. This episode is absent from a Madhyama-āgama parallel to the Ariyapariyesanā-sutta, of which I provide a partial translation. The translation is followed by a brief evaluation of this difference between the two parallel records of the events surrounding the Buddha's awakening.




Activities at OCBS


Michaelmas Term 2011 proved to be a very busy and productive time for us. We held a very successful and well attended Lecture Series and have now posted audio recordings of all of these lectures on our website.

If you have been visiting our site recently you will have noticed several changes. This is part of an ongoing project to make our site more user-friendly. We hope you enjoy the changes as we develop our site.

We are also very happy to announce that Amy Norman is the first recipient of the OCBS Student Grant. Thanks to the generosity of the Oxford Buddha Vihara and its devotees we were able to award the sum of 500 pounds to a student last term to assist them in their studies. Amy will be using the award to enable her to carry out field work this summer as part of her MPhil. in South Asian Studies.

We will be awarding another Student Grant this coming term of 500 pounds thanks to the generosity of Dr. Thet Thet Nwe. We are very excited to be able to provide this form of support to students at the University of Oxford. If this is an area you would like to assist us in then please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We now have a dedicated team of volunteers who are providing great assistance to the Centre and assisting us in expanding our activities, including (with the help of our Consultant Librarian - Sarah Norman), the complete cataloguing of our library in a fashion that will enable us to post our catalogue on our website. More details will follow in the next Newsletter.




Hilary Term Lecture Series

Here are the details for our next Lecture Series. We do hope to see you at them if you are able to attend. We will be posting the lectures on our site as audio files in the coming months.

16 Jan - Dr Sarah Shaw:  “Unfolding the Buddha’s teachings: chant, image and text in an eighteenth-century Siamese manuscript”


23 Jan - Prof Geoffrey Samuel:  “Panentheism and the Longevity Practices of Tibetan Buddhism”


30 Jan - Dr Jowita Kramer:  "Contamination and Purification of the Person according to Yogācāra Sources"

6 Feb - Mr Alastair Gornall:  "How is the Pali Canon a Sacred Text? Exploring Answers from 12th Century Sri Lanka and 18th Century Burma."

13 Feb - Mr Charles Allen:  “Asoka and the development of the Cakravartin image.”

20 Feb - Dr Robert Mayer:  "Neither the Same nor Different: Buddhist and Bon Tantras in 12th Century Tibet."

27 Feb - Mr Justin Whitaker:  “Wriggling Eels in the Wilderness of Views: Studies in Buddhist Ethics.”

5 Mar - Mr Greg Seton:  "Are Yogācāra and Madhyamaka Allies or Rivals?"

All lectures will be held in Balliol Lecture Room XXIII at 5.30.




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