The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

A Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford

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Newsletter 2


May 2009. Second newsletter was sent to subscribed members. It contains information about developments, events, and academic projects.

Newsletter and Friends

We are happy and grateful that a fair number of you have opted to become Friends of the OCBS for life. We are still combing our records to extend our mailing list. If you know people who you think would like to be on it, please send their full names and their e-mail addresses to Hazel: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We hope that our membership will thus snowball.

Developments here at home

We have elected as Fellows of the OCBS: Ven.Dr. Khammai Dhammasami, Mr. Lance Cousins, Dr Rob Mayer, Dr John Peacock, Dr. Sarah Shaw. These positions are honorary, and we are grateful to the recipients for accepting them. All have been and we hope will further be involved with teaching Buddhist subjects at Oxford, and other academic projects. (Ven.Dr. Dhammasami and Dr. Peacock are of course already Trustees.)

Sarah Shaw is this term giving a weekly lecture on the literary character of Pali texts and their various uses. Ven Dr. Dhammasami will be giving the weekly introductory lectures on Buddhism next term. Both these lecture series are under the auspices of the Faculty of Theology.

On 29 April Prof. Georges Dreyfus of Williams College came and lectured on Pa Tshab and early Madhyamaka in Tibet.

The Staples Trust, a foundation of the Sainsbury family, has given us £40,000, half of it now and half of it in a year’s time. It is for core funding, which means that we have wide discretion how to spend it. Some of it will certainly go on improving our web sites, and on setting up our own server to give us an Intranet. This is far the biggest donation that we have yet received from an external source, and we are deeply grateful.


The Mongolian events on 4 and 6 May have taken place as announced in the first Newsletter; they were well attended and successful. Thanks to Vesna for planning them, and to Hazel and Mark for putting her plans into action: they sacrificed their entire Bank Holiday. We hope we may see an even larger crowd at Vesna’s inaugural lecture on 18 May.

confirm that my intensive introduction to Pali, also announced in the previous Newsletter, will run 15-27 August, provided that I receive a few more bookings.

Academic project

Geoff Bamford has just been in Bangkok at a conference of the International Association of Buddhist Universities, which he and the Ven Dhammasami founded at the Wesak conference there two years ago. At a session on Buddhist electronic texts headed by Prof. Lewis Lancaster, a great pioneer in the field, it was agreed that all existent and future digitalised canons should be brought under a single user-friendly programme, which will make them far more accessible. The OCBS has signed up to participating in this historic endeavour.


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