Center for Contemporary Buddhist Studies – University of Copenhagen

Center for Contemporary Buddhist Studies

© Trine Brox

Centre for Contemporary Buddhist Studies

The Centre for Contemporary Buddhist Studies at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies brings together researchers and stakeholders who are engaged in understanding contemporary processes that impact the manner in which Buddhism is practiced and understood today.

While there are many scholars working on Buddhism in contemporary contexts worldwide, very few research centres have been established to concentrate and pool together resources for approaching the study of contemporary Buddhism. At the Centre for Contemporary Buddhist Studies we aim to bring scholars together to create a fruitful academic environment that furthers research and interest in the field of Contemporary Buddhism.

We hope to reinforce research in Contemporary Buddhism with the viability of this research becoming strengthened and more visible through connecting through a larger network of scholars and others interested in Contemporary Buddhism. In this way we hope to create a supportive environment towards which scholars and others can turn towards and consult with affiliated scholars for expertise and support. 

The Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies is an ideal location for the Centre for Contemporary Buddhist Studies, since it is also home to an integrated academic environment for the inter-disciplinary study of religion and the study of Asian languages and cultures. Visit our blog

Subprojects

Buddhism, Business and Believers

Contact associate professor Trine Brox.

'Tibetan monk holding money' by Wonderlane (https://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/4284011682)The objective of the collaborative research project Buddhism, Business and Believers is to inquire into contemporary relations between business and Buddhism through bridging language-based area studies, religious studies, anthropology and economics. The aim is to gain novel insights into the manner that Buddhism mediates value within the exchanges of materiality and spirituality, opening up a new field of research approaching the correlation between religion and economics through triangulating the concepts of exchange, value and materiality.

The aim is to explore how Buddhism as an emic concept is employed within the various contexts in which religious goods and services are bought and sold while paying attention to possible contradictions, contentions and contentment with Buddhist economic activity.

We focus on how Buddhism mediates distinctions between virtue and value, spirituality and materiality, gifts and commodities – and therefore also subscribes meaning to objects, actions and human relations: How does ‘Buddhism’ mediate value and meaning through economic exchanges? In other words: When are economic practices deemed ‘Buddhist’ and how does this contribute to the legitimacy and value of the people involved, the objects traded and the spiritual spaces where economic activities take place?

The international collaborative research project Buddhism, Business and Believers is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities (2015 - 2020).

Additionally, the Carlsberg Foundation has granted funding towards a two-year postdoc position (2015 - 2018).

Wealth, Virtue and Social Justice 

Contact postdoc Jane Eluned Caple

Activities

  • Offer courses related to the topic of Contemporary Buddhism
  • Invite prominent scholars in the field of Contemporary Buddhist Studies for guest lectures, workshops, etc.
  • Organize conferences and workshops on themes related to Contemporary Buddhism
  • Inaugurate a regular lecture series where we invite not only prominent scholars, but also prominent stakeholders in the field of Contemporary Buddhism in order to bring together those engaged in the field with those studying it
  • Run a podcast series recording interviews with prominent Contemporary Buddhist scholars and stakeholders
  • Support junior academic research at the Bachelor, Masters and PhD-level on Contemporary Buddhism
  • Encourage and support MA-projects and the development of PhD-projects for students coming from Asian languages and cultures, Cross-cultural Studies and Religious Studies
  • Promote and facilitate research stays at the Center for international and national scholars, Postdoc researchers, PhD-fellows and Master-students
  • Create an international presence and awareness of Contemporary Buddhist studies through social media.

Researchers 

NameTitlePhoneE-mail
Brox, TrineAssociate professor +45 51 30 29 65E-mail
Caple, Jane ElunedPostdoc +45 93 56 56 14E-mail
Hedegaard, MariannePhD Fellow  E-mail
Williams-Oerberg, Elizabeth LanePostdoc  E-mail