Hailing from the Badlands of Alberta, Tony Scott is a PhD Candidate at the Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, working under Professor Christoph Emmrich. His research focuses on the relationship between Pali commentary, insight (vipassanā) meditation, and Buddhist statecraft in twentieth-century Burma/Myanmar. Tony’s dissertation centres on the Milindapañha-aṭṭhakathā (Commentary on the Questions of King Milinda) of the Mingun Jetavan Sayadaw (1868-1954), a rare example of a modern Buddhist commentary (aṭṭhakathā) that caused controversy amongst the highest levels of the Burmese monastic community (saṅgha) and first independence government.
As a 2018-2019 Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellow in Buddhist Studies, Tony spent the year working in Myanmar, Tokyo and Hong Kong, and as a 2019-2020 Bukkyō Dendō Kyokai Foreign Scholar Fellow, he will finish his dissertation at the University of Tokyo under Professors Norihisa Baba and Ryosuke Kuramoto.
Upcoming and Recent Conferences:
“Opening Up Enlightenment and the Reintroduction of Female Ordination in Twentieth-century Burma/Myanmar” To be presented at Gender Asymmetry in the Different Buddhist Traditions Through the Prism of Nuns’ Ordination and Education, June 25-26, 2020, University of Perugia.
“A Modern Aṭṭhakathā Commentary on the Milindapañha and the Pali Canon in Burma.” To be presented at the 19th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Seoul National University, August 16-21, 2020. Part of a panel called: Questioning the Questions of King Milinda, the Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra.
“The Reinvention of Buddhism in the Modern World: The ‘Pure’ Insight (Vipassanā) Meditation of the Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw.” To be presented at the Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Boston, March 16-21, 2020. Part of a panel titled: Meditation Movements of Modern Myanmar. (Cancelled due to covid-19)
“The Milindapañha-aṭṭhakathā: Vipassanā Meditation, Psychic Powers, and Pali Commentary in Mid-Twentieth-Century Burma.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Denver, Colorado, November 24th-26th, 2018. Part of the panel: Buddhist Cultures of Meditation, Co-Sponsored between the Buddhism and Contemplative Studies Units.
Read Tony’s reflection about his first trip to Myanmar here: https://buddhiststudies.utoronto.ca/2016/11/01/friends-high-places/
Read about his Bukkyō Dendō Kyokai Fellowship for Foreign Scholars here:
Watch Tony interviewing Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche about Yantra Yoga and Vajra Dance on Buddhistdoor.net here: https://www.buddhistdoor.net/video/yantra-yoga-and-vajra-dance-with-choumlgyal-namkhai-norbu-rinpoche