Lu Zhang and Jinhui Wu Win Khyentse Foundation Doctoral Fellowship

Aug. 27, 2020

The University of Arizona Center for Buddhist Studies and Department of East Asian Studies are pleased to announce the recipients of the Khyentse Foundation Doctoral Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year. Lu Zhang (Left) and Jinhui Wu (Right), both advanced doctoral students in EAS, will equally split the award.


Jinhui Wu is currently a doctoral candidate and research associate of the East Asian Studies advised by Prof. Jiang Wu. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on how Buddhist cosmology has been transformed in China especially during the early modern era. Her research was based on an orderly account of Buddhist Cosmos written by monk Renchao during the Wanli era (1573-1620) of the late Ming dynasty of China titled the Fajie anli tu, which explores the details of how the Buddhist universe arose and developed throughout the Chinese history. Combining techniques drawn especially from the disciplines of Buddhist studies and art history, she scrutinizes the text, its illustrations and related practices to present an inclusive depiction of Buddhist cosmology in early modern China.


Lu Zhang is currently a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Department of East Asian Studies and is advised by Prof. Albert Welter. Her project examines historiographical works in Chinese Chan Buddhism—denglu—between the 11th and 13th centuries, with a particular focus on a rarely noticed group of individuals who are considered incarnated buddhas and bodhisattvas. Compiled into a specific section titled the “Sages and Worthies as Incarnations (of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas)應化聖賢” in denglu, the individuals from diverse traditions are venerated as Buddhist saints. Since historiographies in Chan Buddhism are customarily used for preserving genealogical information of Chan schools and essential teachings of Chan masters, the incorporation of the section constituted a new development in this era.


The Khyentse Foundation Academic Development Committee selected the University of Arizona for their Doctoral Student Financial Support program for four years starting in the academic year 2020-2021. Each year, the fellowship awards $25,000 USD to support one or more doctoral students.

The Khyentse Foundation started this new program with the goal of supporting Buddhist Studies doctoral students. Although academic settings and programs differ by country, continent, and even region, the foundation has identified common themes and has determined several ways in which they believe they can help these students, especially during their dissertation research and writing. We are grateful to the Khyentse Foundation for this timely award. In addition, the Khyentse Foundation supports our Hangzhou Buddhist Culture project, Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Studies Lecture Series, and the Khyentse Foundation Student Award.