News

Donation supports lectureship in Tibetan Buddhism


15 August 2017

L-R: Dr Jim Rheingans, Khyentse-UBEF Lecturer in Tibetan Buddhism; Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Khyentse Foundation chair and founder; Dr Eng-Kong Tan, University Buddhist Education Foundation executive member; and Dr Rosalie Chapple, Aberbaldie Foundation executive member.
L-R: Dr Jim Rheingans, Khyentse-UBEF Lecturer in Tibetan Buddhism; Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Khyentse Foundation chair and founder; Dr Eng-Kong Tan, University Buddhist Education Foundation executive member; and Dr Rosalie Chapple, Aberbaldie Foundation executive member.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is set to expand its expertise in Buddhist Studies with the appointment of Dr Jim Rheingans to a new lectureship in Tibetan Buddhism.

The lectureship will offer wide exposure to the study of Buddhist traditions, particularly Tibetan traditions, not just for students within the Faculty, but also across the University.

The five-year lectureship within the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) has been made possible thanks to a jointly funded donation from the Khyentse Foundation, the University Buddhist Education Foundation (UBEF) and the Aberbaldie Foundation.

“We currently have the most comprehensive Buddhist Studies program in the Australasian region and Southern Hemisphere,” said Chair of the Department of Indian Subcontinental Studies, Dr Mark Allon.

“The establishment of this new lectureship and Dr Rheingans’ expertise in Tibetan Buddhism will allow us to build on our program offerings and continue to grow our reputation globally in this area.”

Dr Jim Rheingans joins the Faculty from his position as Acting Professor for Tibetan Studies at the University of Bonn in Germany. He holds a MA in Tibetan Studies from the University of Hamburg and a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of the West of England.

Dr Rheingans’ research interests include Tibetan literature and genre, religious history and Buddhism. He will teach Buddhist Studies units within the Asian Studies program and Sanskrit within the Department of Indian Subcontinental Studies, and will undertake supervision of Honours and postgraduate research students.

“I see a lot of potential for Buddhist and Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Sydney and in an Australasian and worldwide network,” said the newly appointed Dr. Rheingans.

“Alongside researching the rich heritage of the different Tibetan and Buddhist cultures on the basis of textual sources, it will be useful to foster inter- and cross-disciplinary ways of teaching and research. To take into account contemporary dimensions would also helpful. I also hope that wider interest in the translation and study of Tibetan and Buddhist texts as well as the different issues of translation can be stimulated.”

An event to celebrate the establishment of the Khyentse-UBEF Lectureship in Tibetan Buddhism and to thank the donors was held at the University of Sydney on Friday 11 August 2017.