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Department of Global Buddhism

The program provides an international standard of education in the academic study of Buddhism that will allow Buddhists to engage with the modern global world fully.

The program does not focus on learning Buddha Dharma, sutras, philosophy, etc., per se; instead, students learn how to study Buddhism from an academic perspective.

This means that:

(1) Students learn how to use theory and method in social sciences and humanities and

(2) How Buddhism is impacted by secular factors, such as globalization, politics, and secularism itself.

Furthermore, students are trained as innovative leaders in global Buddhism to effectively engage in the modern globalized world by analyzing their social conditions.

The Global Buddhism MA and Ph.D. are designed for the acquisition of analytical skills in order that students can apply their knowledge and skills to effectively analyze data from all social and cultural fields of interest, concentrating on religion and specialization in analyzing Buddhism in all its social, political, and cultural settings.

With an estimated 95% of the Thai population adhering to Buddhism, Thailand and its capital Bangkok provide a perfect venue for such a Buddhist studies program.

The Institute of Science Innovation and Culture is pleased to welcome you to its Global Buddhism programs.

Dr. Liu is a distinguished scholar and an expert in the field of religious studies, with a particular focus on the Chinese Buddhist communities in Thailand. He holds a Ph.D. in religious studies, which he earned from Mahidol University, Thailand, in 2017.

Dr. Liu is recognized as the The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Professor in Buddhist Studies, a testament to his exceptional contributions to the academic field. As the director and founder of our institution, he has played a pivotal role in establishing and shaping the academic programs at our institute.

Dr. Liu’s expertise extends beyond his administrative role. He is the main author of the six postgraduate curricula approved by the Thai Ministry of Higher Education for ISIC, showcasing his comprehensive knowledge and commitment to providing quality education.

As a top scholar, Dr. Liu has an impressive record of published research work in renowned and high-ranking publications. His contributions to the academic community are highly regarded, and his research has greatly contributed to our understanding of transplanted Buddhism in Southeast and East Asia. Driven by his passion and expertise, he leads the research project titled “Transplanted Buddhism in Southeast and East Asia: Old Communities, Immigrants, and Missionaries.”

Dr. Yaoping LIU

Program Head

The program aims to educate Buddhist monks, nuns, and laity to be full-fledged leaders and shapers of the modern information-based, multicultural, and globalized world.

Producing morally grounded Buddhist intellectuals and socially engaged monks, nuns, and laity capable of researching and analyzing data that is then applied for the betterment of Buddhism, Buddhists, and society.

To further promote academic studies of Buddhism in its various modern cultural manifestations to better understand and sustain Buddhism and create a harmonious relationship between Buddhism and all stakeholders in society. Produce graduate Buddhist leaders with a worldview broader than their current doctrinal, cultural, and national worldviews.

Equip Buddhist monks, nuns, and laity returning to their monasteries, institutions, or home life with appropriate skills to be better able to innovate, lead, and manage their respective monasteries and institutions, better interact with the laity, and thus, better serve their local, and the global, community.

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Global Buddhism and the Doctor of Philosophy in Global Buddhism and the (International Program) should be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Ability to convey ideas verbally and in writing using the English language;
  2. Proficiency in data collection, organization, and analysis;
  3. Perform and deliver quality outputs;
  4. Ability to problem-solve using an interdisciplinary approach rather than a single or narrow perspective;
  5. Make, analyze, evaluate and objectively critique reports, proposals, and concept papers;
  6. Ability to explain Buddhism and religion using theory and method from academic disciplines in the social sciences and humanities;
  7. Ability to harness information technology to enhance temple or institutional performance and better manage an organization and its human resources;
  8. Exemplify the values of innovativeness, conscientiousness, fair-mindedness, transparency, sense of responsibility and accountability, honesty, patience, diligence, and risk-taking;
  9. Understand the importance of good interpersonal skills exhibiting good teamwork and leadership qualities;
  10. Observe good citizenship by adhering to legal obligations and ensuring the protection and conservation of the social and natural environment.

COURSES of Ph.D in Global Buddhism

  1. PREPARATORY COURSES (6 credits)

9-311-601 Research Methodology for Graduate Studies 3(3-0-6)

9-311-602 English for Graduate Studies 3(3-0-6)

  1. MAJOR COURSES (6 credits)

9-312-601 Seminar on Buddhism, Modernity and Globalization 3(3-0-6)

9-312-602 Seminar on Leadership and Innovation for Global Buddhism 3(3-0-6)


9-313-601 Seminar on Socially Engaged Buddhism 3(3-0-6)

9-313-602 Seminar on Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health 3(3-0-6)

9-313-603 Seminar on Academic Study of Religion and Buddhism 3(3-0-6)

9-313-604 Seminar on Buddhism and Politics 3(3-0-6)

9-313-605 Seminar on Buddhism, Business and Economics 3(3-0-6)

9-313-606 Seminar on Buddhist Ethics 3(3-0-6)

9-313-607 Seminar on Buddhism in Relation with Other Religions 3(3-0-6)

9-313-608 Seminar on Chinese Buddhism 3(3-0-6)

9-313-609 Seminar in Buddhism and Development 3(3-0-6)

9-313-610 Independent studies in Buddhist Studies 3(3-0-6)

  1. THESIS (36 credits)

9-314-601 Thesis 36(0-0-108)

9-314-603 Qualifying Examination 0(0-0-0)

COURSES of M.A in Global Buddhism


9-211-501 Research Methodology for Graduate Studies 3(3-0-6)

9-211-502 English for Graduate Studies 3(3-0-6)

  1. COMPULSORY COURSES (6 credits)

9-212-501 Comparative Religions and Core Concepts in Religious 3(3-0-6)

9-212-502 Buddhist and Globalization 3(3-0-6)


9-213-501 Socially Engaged Buddhism 3(3-0-6)

9-213-502 Buddhism and Social Media 3(3-0-6)

9-213-503 Buddhist Ethics 3(3-0-6)

9-213-504 Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health 3(3-0-6)

9-213-505 The Buddhist Temple and Society 3(3-0-6)

9-213-506 Buddhism in Southeast Asia 3(3-0-6)

9-213-507 Independent Studies in Buddhist Studies 3(3-0-6)

  1. THESIS (12 credits)

9-214-501 Thesis 12(0-0-36)

The graduate programs of ISIC are designed to give students the best possible academic experience to prepare and help them excel in their chosen field of profession.

Therefore, applicants for admission to any program must present satisfactory evidence of their suitability and readiness for graduate studies.

Admission Interview – Students who wish to apply to any of the

programs offered by the ISIC-UTK will be required to undergo an

interview either in person or online. The interview aims to validate the

student’s qualifications and suitability to be accepted to the program.

Admission Test – Applicants must take a test appropriately designed

for the program the student is applying to. The test will help determine the

applicant’s level of knowledge related to the program the student is

applying to register.

Deputy Head of Global Buddhism

Dr. Metteyya Beliatte

Dr. Metteyya Beliatte is a Buddhist Scholar specialized in Buddhism and Pali language.

He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Pali and Buddhist Studies, Master’s Degree in Buddhist Studies and the Doctorate Degree in Buddhist Studies from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand. He has been engaged in a Translation Project of Pali Tipitaka Texts from Pali language to English language funded by the National Research Council of Thailand. He has completed translating Anguttaranikāya Vol IV, Itivuttaka, Theri Apadāna and Udāna so far and currently working on the Jātaka book. He has engaged in several other translation projects in translating Sinhalese, Thai, English and Pali languages. His areas of interest are Tipitaka Studies, Buddhist Civilization, Buddhist Diplomacy, Buddhist Psychology, Buddhist Education and New Buddhist Movements.

Dr. Julia Esteve

Dr. Julia got her Ph.D in History of Religions at the EPHE (Paris) in 2009. Her research encompasses the spectrum of the different components of the pre-modern Khmer religion for which she uses Archaeological and Epigraphical tools as well as Art History.

Since 2010 she leads, with her colleagues, D. Soutif (EFEO) and Chea Socheat (APSARA), a research Program on Cambodian Monasteries of the 9th century. Through integrated epigraphic and archaeological research, the Yasodharasramas Project is exploring the interrelated socia, political, economic and religious institutions and practices underlying the foundation of the city of Angkor. Another ongoing axis is the study of the evolution of Buddhism in the Khmer empire through the archaeological and epigraphical Two Buddhist Towers Project, which at conducting a multi-scalar evaluation of the practice, change, and function of Buddhism at the regional Angkorian center of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay, Cambodia (10th to 17th c. CE). She specializes in: Theory of Religions, Religious encounters, Asian monasteries, Southeast Asian Buddhism, Hinduism, and Animism


  • Member of the DHARMA project « The Domestication of “Hindu” Asceticism and the Religious Making of South and Southeast Asia », European Research Council « Horizon 2020 » project.
  • Member of the Archaeological and Epigraphical Research Program “The Two Buddhist Towers” (University of Illinois at Chicago/University of California Los Angeles/EFEO/University College London).
  • Co-director (w/ D. SOUTIF, EFEO and E. SWENSON, University of Toronto) of the Archaeological and Epigraphical Research Program Yaśodharāśrama Project (Mahidol Univ./EFEO/University of Toronto/APSARA).
  • Member of the inventory and restoration program of the inscriptions of the Conservation d’Angkor, Siem Reap (EFEO, dir. B. PORTE) since 2012.
  • Member of the international Program Corpus des inscriptions khmères (EPHE/EFEO/UTK; director: D. SOUTIF) since 2003. Inventory, translation of Khmer & Sanskrit Cambodian Inscriptions and creation of an Electronic and Digital Corpus.


  • Member of the DHARMA project (ERC Synergy Grant 2018 N°809994; (€130,000).
  • Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies 2014. Collaborative Research Grant by the American Council of Learned Societies for the program The Two Buddhist Towers (w/ M. Hendrickson, University of Illinois, Chicago, C. Castillo, University College London, D. Soutif, EFEO and Ch. Fischer, University of California Los Angeles) ($141,550).
  • French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs 2009-today. Yaśodharāśrama Project (€200,000)
  • Simone and Cino del Duca Foundation 2011 Archaeology Prize. Yaśodharāśrama Project and LIDAR Survey for Angkor ($53,000)
  • Florence Gould Foundation Grant 2011 (Center for Khmer Studies/INALCO; $4,000)
  • EFEO Post-doctoral Grant 2011 ($3,300)
  • Endeavour Research Award, Australian Government 2011 ($22,845)
  • EFEO Research Grant December 2009-February 2010 ($3,300)
  • University of Sydney travel grant, December 2009 ($1,650)
  • French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fieldwork Grant 2007 ($1,235)
  • Collège de France Fieldwork Grant 2007 ($1,650)
  • EPHE-EFEO PhD Research Grant 2002-2005 ($64,224)

Dr. Tenzan Eaghll

Dr. Tenzan Eaghll received his PhD from the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto in 2016. He served as Lecturer at Chair of the International MA program at the College of Religious Studies at Mahidol University from 2017-2020. He has also held teaching positions at the University of Calgary, Athabasca University, and King Mongkut’s University of Technology.
He is co-editor of Representing Religion in Film (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022) and has been published in numerous journals and book volumes on a wide variety of topics related to the study of religion, including Method and Theory, Continental Philosophy, Christianity, Film Studies, Buddhism, and Religious Education. His work has been cited in sources such as Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, Numen, and the Oxford Theory of Knowledge IB Course Book.
His current research focuses on the modern scholarly curation of “Global Buddhism” and “Global Religion(s),” investigating how scholars are reinventing the World Religion paradigm in the 21st Century as a global phenomenon. His areas of expertise include method and theory in the study of religion, contemporary representations of global Buddhism and global Religion, continental philosophy, and early modern & modern Western Christian thought.


Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa

Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa is a Buddhist scholar specializing in Pali, Sanskrit, Buddhist philosophy, and Western and Indian Philosophies.

Graduated from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka he obtained the degree of the Master of philosophy from Banaras Hindu University, India and the Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Served as the head of the Department of Buddhist Culture of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya, he is currently a permanent professor holding the posts of the Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies and the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at the International Buddhist College in Thailand. Recently, he was awarded the honorary degree of the Doctor of Letters (D. Litt) by the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka in recognition of his contribution to the field of Buddhist Studies.

Dr. Anja Zalta

Dr. Anja Zalta studied Sociology, Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, where she received her PhD in Sociology in 2002. She is an Associate Professor for Sociology of Religion, Sociology Department, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and author of many articles on religious traditions and identities, inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, Asian religious paradigmes, especially Buddhism, and the role of monotheistic religions in the European cultural and religious history.

Between 2004 and 2006 she was periodically living in Konya, Turkey, where she was conducting a research on secularism in Turkish society, and the role of sufism and Mevlevis in Turkish history. In 2012 and 2019 she was contacted research in Sri Lanka about the social role of socially engaged Buddhism and Sarvodaya movement. In 2013, as an executive of the international project at the Istanbul University, she studied the rights of religious minorities, especially in the Tur Abdin province on the Turkish-Syrian border. At Nan Tien Institute in Wollongong, Australia, in 2014, she analyzed the role of socially engaged Buddhism and led the platform for interreligious dialogue. She also holds a MA degree in Applied Buddhist Studies (NTI Australia).

She is a member of editorial boards of Družboslovne razprave and Poligrafi (both journals are in Scopus base). She is also the co-editor of the monograph Women Against War System (Lit Verlag, Zurich 2017), the international thematic issue Islam and Democracy (Poligrafi, 2017 with Dr. Mohamed Ali) and international issue Understanding Ertnic, Religious and Cultural Minorities in Turkey (Poligrafi 2021 with Prof. Tahir Abbas and Prof. Umut Azak). She is a member of the international research platform Pluriel (Lyon University), a member of the presidency of the Slovenian Sociological Society and the head of the Religious Section within the Slovenian Sociological Society. Between 2017 and 2019, she was the head of the Department of Sociology (Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana).


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