The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

A Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford

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List of Current Students

Cao Ting

Ting Cao  (曹婷) is a PhD candidate at Zhejiang University and a visiting research student at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.

Already as a Master's student she started focusing on the linguistic study of earliest Chinese Buddhist translations,especially in the context of the history of ancient Chinese language. More recently, she has also developed strong interests in Buddhist philology, comparative linguistics, and Japanese manuscripts of Buddhist scriptures.


Zhao You


Zhao You is a PhD candidate in Buddhist Studies at Peking University, now visiting Oxford for the academic year 2013-14 as a recognized student.

Before enrolling in this PhD programme, Zhao You majored in Philosophy and earned her BA from Peking University in 2010. Once interested in phenomenology, towards the end of her undergraduate studies she became more attracted to and convinced by Buddhist philosophy, especially its epistemological perspectives.

Later on, her practical concerns in the religious life that Chinese Buddhists are involved in, and all those tangible forms of religious objects including images that used to or continue to influence the lay communities, brought her to the question of lay Buddhist identity constructed by different types of narratives. Her dissertation will thus focus on Vimalakirti as a traditional ideal personality, interpreted and reinterpreted in the history of Chinese Buddhism.



Emilie Parry

Emilie Parry is a DPhil student in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Her applied, collaborative research involves concepts of integrated resilience centered within community capacities and networks, encompassing strategies and learning transference around climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as community-based biodiversity conservation. In particular, she is interested in inter-religious dialogue to address the human drivers of climate change and support biodiversity conservation, and has been working with the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), which has facilitated the Inter-Religious Climate and Ecology (ICE) Network, intended to build problem-solving platforms, learn from each other across Asian and African community networks, and to build an educational and action-based movement of cooperation across all faiths and spiritual practices, in the spirit of engaging around the issue of climate change. Prior to joining the University of Oxford, Emilie worked globally in sustainable community development, complex emergencies, disaster risk management, and other resilience-related realms.


Matthew Neale

Matthew read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and specialized for his doctorate there in the evolution of social behaviour, including a case study on tropical spiders. Experiences during solitude in the rainforest led him to explore Buddhist meditation as a way to develop them, and Dawkins' ideas (developed by Susan Blackmore et al) about the evolution of memes, virus-like entities propagating themselves using human minds as vehicles, led him naturally to explore in more depth Buddhist methods of mental purification.

Living in Egypt and Nepal for over a decade, he studied Islamic esotericism and Tibetan Buddhism: he followed the traditional programme of Mahayana philosophy at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute of Kanying Shedrubling Monastery near Kathmandu, and Vajrayana practices as a student of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and Trulshik Rinpoche.

At Oxford he is currently researching a book on the use of deconstructive argumentation in the Madhyamaka school of Buddhism and in the Pyrrhonist school of Ancient Greek philosophy, and the historical connections between them.  He is more generally interested in any anti-dogmatic practices in religious and philosophical traditions, as potential remedies for the factionalism, sectarianism and systematic cruelty which, he feels, infect so much of our world.


Amy Norman

MPhil in South Asian Studies

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Amy got her MA (Hons) In Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. She won the 2011 Ewan Prize in Religious Studies for being the most successful honours candidate in the papers in history of religions. Her undergraduate dissertation was entitled: “Educate, Agitate and Organise: The Consequences of B.R. Ambedkar’s Engaged Buddhism.”

She is now doing her MPhil in Classical Indian Religion here in Oxford.

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HH the Dalai Lama

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