University of Calgary

Numata Symposium

April 16, 2009
The Numamta symposium attracted a large group of researchers.The Numamta symposium attracted a large group of scholars from across North America.

Numata Symposium hosts Buddhism scholars

Earlier this month, 20 scholars of Buddhism from across North America gathered for the Numata Symposium at the University of Calgary. The symposium, hosted by the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies at the U of C, provided a venue for new professional relationships to be formed, old connections to be renewed, and the early stages of joint research projects to begin—strengthening the network of Buddhologists across Canada.

“This was the first time Buddhist scholars came together at an event like this,” says Leslie Kawamura, the Numata Chair of Buddhist Studies and event organizer. “The Numata Symposium provided the opportunity for young scholars, who have recently started their careers as Buddhologists in Canada, to get to introduce themselves to the community of Canadian scholars of Buddhism.”

Participants had the opportunity to learn about current research work being done by their colleagues at other institutions, opening the doors for Buddhologists to share resources and to bring together new ideas. 

‘My hope in the near future is we will see collaborative research emerge from the symposium participants,” says Kawamura.

“Leslie is to be congratulated on coordinating and hosting this event. His inaugural lecture as the new holder of the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies in October surveyed the state of Buddhist Studies in Canada,” says Virginia Tumasz, head of the Department of Religious Studies. “This event, coming at the end of his first year of Chairholder, contributed significantly to the development of Canadian Buddhist Studies.”

The Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies is housed in the Department of Religious Studies and has enriched the Department and its program for over 20 years. The Chair has supported 15 visiting scholars from around the world. Kawamura, a professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, was appointed the first tenured Chair for the Numata Chair of Buddhists Studies in October 2008.

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