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Lifetime Achievement Awards

Woodenfish Foundation has recognized the incredible achievements of outstanding Buddhist scholars. 


In 2016, Woodenfish's Venerable Yifa presented awards to five international scholars to thank these experts for their lifetime contributions to the research and teaching of Buddhism. We also thank Bill K. Wang for his generous contribution to fund these awards.



Tim Barrett, SOAS University of London
His focus is Taoism and Buddhism; pre-modern Chinese history, especially the Tang period.


Carl Bielefeldt, Stanford University 

Bielefeldt specializes in East Asian Buddhism, with particular emphasis on the intellectual history of the Zen tradition. He is the author of Dogen’s Manuals of Zen Meditation and other works on early Japanese Zen and serves as editor of the Soto Zen Text Project  and Co-Director of the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies.

Richard Gombrich, University of Oxford

is an Indologist and scholar of Sanskrit, Pāli, and Buddhist Studies. He was theBoden Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oxford from 1976 to 2004. He is currently Founder-President of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. He is a past President of the Pali Text Society (1994–2002) and General Editor Emeritus of the Clay Sanskrit Library.


Peter Gregory, Smith College

Gregory's research has focused on medieval Chinese Buddhism, especially the Chan and Huayan traditions during the Tang and Song dynasties, on which he has written or edited seven books, including Tsung-mi and the Sinification of Buddhism (1991). He is currently completing a translation of a ninth-century Chinese Buddhist text on the historical and doctrinal origins of the Chan tradition.

After coming to Smith, Gregory's research and teaching became increasingly concerned with Buddhism in America, on which he produced a film, The Gate of Sweet Nectar: Feeding Hungry Spirits in an American Zen Community (2004), and co-edited a book, Women Practicing Buddhism: American Experiences (Wisdom Publications, 2007).


Paul Groner, University of Virginia

His research areas concern Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, with a focus on the the Japanese Tendai tradition, how precepts and practice affected doctrine, and the relationship between monastic and lay Buddhism in medieval Japan.


Stanley Weinstein, Yale University

Stanley Weinstein is a specialist in East Asian Buddhism and works primarily on the history and doctrines of the Buddhist schools of China and Japan. Before coming to Yale, Professor Weinstein taught at Komazawa University in Tokyo and at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. At Yale he served for four years as Director of Graduate Studies in the East Asian Studies M.A. program and as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Religious Studies for one year. He also chaired the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale for three years. He has been a five-time recipient of the Ford Foundation Foreign Area Fellowship and has held a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Weinstein teaches an array of undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on Buddhism in China, Japan, and India. He is the author of Buddhism Under the T’ang and the forthcoming When the Gods Met the Buddhas: Religious Syncretism in Early Japan. In addition, he has written numerous articles, including more than a hundred entries for the Encyclopedia of Japan. His current research focuses on the interaction between Buddhism and indigenous religion in early Japan. ​

(Left) Richard Gombrich of Oxford University is presented with Woodenfish lifetime achievement award in Beijing.

(Above) Stanley Weinstein of Yale University receives lifetime achievement award from Venerable Yifa in October 2016 in New Haven, CT.

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