Tzu Chi Forum
The Tzu Chi Forum is an international conference to introduce Tzu Chi’s ideas, humanity, and culture to the academic community and religions worldwide. Every two to three years, the academic forum is held to present and study the Dharma Path of Tzu Chi.
In his book, the late Professor Peter B. Clarke, a professor of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford, described Tzu Chi’s spiritual principles in details, and highly praised the teachings of Dharma Master Cheng Yen as a representative of the Contemporary Buddhism. After learning about the book, Dr. Rey-Sheng Her, formerly the director of the Department of Literature and History and currently serving as the Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Foundation, contacted Professor Clarke.
Clarke believed globalization is happening in reverse and that Eastern cultures and religions are transforming the West and the world. The mission of Tzu Chi is correct; since it is engaged Buddhism, its stress on altruism is what religion should focus on. Thus, he suggested, Tzu Chi should host an academic forum to present itself to scholars worldwide so that they could study and learn about it.
The forums have been held since 2010, with participation by many well-known scholars from around the world. They have covered the universal values of environmental protection, Buddhism and charity, and management of charity organizations, to show the profundity and breadth of Buddhism and Tzu Chi.
2010, The First Tzu Chi Forum – Environment and Religion
2012, The Second Tzu Chi Forum – Buddhism and Charity
2014, The Third Tzu Chi Forum – The Ideal and Management of International Charity Organizations
2016, The Fourth Tzu Chi Forum – The Universal Value of Buddhism & the Dharma Path of Tzu Chi
2019, The Fifth Tzu Chi Forum – Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development
2020, The Sixth Tzu Chi Forum – Future Earth and Green Initiatives
2022, The Seventh Tzu Chi Forum – Global Common Good After the Pandemic:The Partnership in Action on Net Zero, Digitalization, and Generation
Yin-Cheng Distinguished Lecture Series on Buddhism
In today’s rapidly changing environment, religions face significant challenges. At the end of the twentieth century, many scholars observed a sharp decline in traditional religious beliefs. Religions were expected to decline gradually, overshadowed by a civilization of technology driven by capitalism, scientism, and liberalism in the secular world. This was especially expected to be true when it came to attracting younger generations.
However, after years of observation, it was found that religion had not declined but had instead manifested many novel features not seen in the past. Take Buddhism, for example; many individuals and groups actively responded to the contemporary social environment and produced many new experiences and developments in this two-thousand-plus-year-old tradition. Across the globe, Buddhism has shown vitality in the salvation of the secular world. Buddhism has not faded in the last half-century but has absorbed new elements and evolved into a more modern Buddhism with the characteristics of the times.
To bring attention to the practice and influence of Buddhism in current society and to promote the research and teaching of contemporary Buddhism in academia, Dr. Rey-Sheng Her, Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Foundation, and Prof. Jinhua Chen of the Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, jointly organize the Yin-Cheng Distinguished Lecture Series on Buddhism with seven top universities — Princeton, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, INALCO, Peking, and UBC. The steering committee, comprising professors from these seven universities, supported naming the lecture series after Master Yin Shun and Master Cheng Yen. With the sponsorship of the Tzu Chi Foundation, the committee intends for the lecture series to become an important platform for the promotion of research on contemporary Buddhist thought and practice.
This partnership, known as the Yin-Cheng Network for Buddhist Studies, now extends its activities to include the publication of the Yin-Cheng Journal of Buddhism and Contemporary Society in both English and Chinese editions. It also organizes Yin-Cheng Conferences that promote Buddhism’s engagement with contemporary world issues.
UBC is responsible for coordinating the academic activities of partners in the network and the Yin-Cheng Journal for Buddhist Studies (English). The Tzu Chi Foundation is responsible for providing input and promoting the Lecture and Conference series, as well as logistical elements, to ensure the ideas have a broad reach and serve as a bridge between cultures.
Global Symposium for Common Goodness
The problems in the modern world are borderless and complicated. They cannot be solved by a single country or institution. Effective solutions must be collaborations across countries, disciplines, and institutions. This is the message and endeavor of the Tzu Chi Global Symposium for Common Goodness. As an NGO based on Buddhism, Tzu Chi Foundation proposes “common goodness” and “common responsibility” for global problems. It intends to combine international and interdisciplinary partnerships to establish a platform for academic exchange that promotes global sustainability.
"Tzu Chi Studies Lectures on Theory and Practice" seeks to inspire scholars from around the world to delve into the field of Tzu Chi studies, with a particular focus on enhancing the compassionate initiatives undertaken by Tzu Chi. Under the guidance of Dr. Rey-Sheng Her, Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Foundation, these lectures are collaboratively organized by Jing Si Abode and the Buddhist Tzu Chi Charity Foundation, with the support of Tzu Chi University and Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology. Each lecture features a seasoned scholar who has devoted extensive time to researching Tzu Chi, delivering a keynote address based on their findings.