Rafal Stepien is the Assistant Professor of Asian Religions at Hampshire College. He is a scholar of religion, philosophy, and literature. His research is inter-disciplinary, cross-regional, and poly-glottic, ranging among Buddhist and Islamic philosophical and literary texts from East, South, and West Asia. He is primarily a specialist of Chinese and Sanskrit Buddhist thought, but cultivates a keen subsidiary interest in Islamic thought composed in Arabic and Persian. He participated in Woodenfish HBMLP in 2007 and returned as an instructor in 2013.


In this interview, Rafal looks back at his own trajectory and “intellectual wanderings” which have included study in Italy, Iran, working in Afghanistan as a Persian interpreter with the International Red Cross, studying Chinese at Oxford, and much, much more. He is an expert on a wide cross-section of Buddhist and Islamic philosophies and literatures, imparts words of wisdom for those interested in pursuing a career in academia, and is an...

June 27-30, 2016: Sutra Transmission and Translation Conference at Dunhuang, Gansu, China

Woodenfish Foundation, in collaboration with the Dunhuang Research Institute will  co-host approximately 50 international scholars and scholars from China during a 3-day panel and one-day tour of the Mogao Grottoes.

The conference is being held in honor of Master Hsing Yun, who will be 90 years old in 2016; in honor of Stanley Weinstein, Emeritus Professor at Yale; in honor of Lew Lancaster, Emeritus Professor At Berkeley, for their great contribution to Buddhism.

We are excited to announce that Woodenfish has three new board members as of November 2015. 

Kaiyuan Wang, Chappaqua, New York, is CEO of Beijing Heda Investments Ltd., and brings a wealth of experience directing and advising high-performing corporations and organizations. Mr. Wang will act as the Treasurer of the Woodenfish Board of Directors.

Fawn Wang, New Haven, CT, is the Director for East Asia at Yale University, Ms. Wang is responsible for all Yale’s initiatives in China, Japan and Korea, including developing and managing a variety of programs that involved creating and sustaining extensive relationships with senior officials in government, business and higher education.

Huang Xing, Beijing, P.R. China, is a corporate lawyer and integral part of Woodenfish's growth within China. 

Board members are directly involved in navigating the diverse challenges inherent in running a non-profit organization. In most cases, they are already established members of a p...

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Woodenfish Foundation is an organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2016