In 2019, a generous anonymous donor established the Machik Ödrön Fund for Tibetan Language Instruction at the Department for the Study of Religion. This fund supports instruction in Tibetan language in the Department, making a crucial contribution to the education of our Buddhist Studies students in particular.
The University of Toronto has been building Tibetan Studies over the last decade, and our undergraduate and graduate programs have grown steadily. Since the beginning of our Tibetan Studies programs in 2003, faculty and graduate students working in the area have been competitively awarded well over a million dollars in research funding, several doctoral students have graduated and moved on to teaching positions in Tibetan Studies, and our library has become the largest Tibetan collection in Canada. Learn more about our faculty, students, and resources for Tibetan studies.
This year, the fund supports our upper-level course in Classical Tibetan, taught by Khenpo Kunga Sherab. Khenpo has worked at the Department for the Study of Religion since 2009 both as a course instructor of Tibetan language and as a Research Consultant, assisting with student and faculty research and teaching in Tibetan Studies and serving as a researcher on several collaborative projects. Kunga began his doctoral work in 2016, where he is researching contemporary Tibetan Buddhist scholars’ engagement with science with a particular interest in Buddhist and contemporary scientific theories of consciousness, karma and reincarnation. Kunga received his MA at the University of Toronto in 2014. Before coming to the University of Toronto, Khenpo received traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastic education and earned the title of Khenpo in 2005 from the Dzongsar Institute for Advanced Studies of Buddhist Philosophy and Research in India. He then taught for many years at Dzongsar Institute, India and Zurmang Buddhist College in Sikkim, India. He is the author of several works on Buddhist philosophy in Tibetan.