2006 Juliet Hollister Awards Ceremony Honoree
Venerable Dr. Yifa
Venerable Dr. Yifa has been a nun at Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Taiwan since 1979. She received a law degree from the National Taiwan University, an M.A. in comparative philosophy from the University of Hawaii and her Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale University in 1996. She was awarded as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” in Taiwan in 1997. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University, Boston University and a faculty member at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan. She has also been Dean at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist College and Provost at Hsi Lai University in Rosemead, California. In 2005 she was the Numata visiting professor at McGill University. Currently she serves as the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of the West in Los Angeles.
In 2003 in Bangkok Dr. Yifa was awarded the United Nations “Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award.” Since 2002 Dr. Yifa has conducted the Humanistic Monastic Life Programs for teens and college students sponsored by Buddha’s Light International Society. More recently she has directed the Sutra Pagoda Project to research and translate Buddhist scriptures. For many years she has been engaged in interfaith dialogues such as the “Gethsemane Encounter,” “International Buddhist-Christian Theology” and “Religious Ethics” supported by UNESCO. She co-chaired “Nuns in the West,” an interfaith monastic dialogue, and was a contributor to “Safe Motherhood Project” by UNICEF’s South Asia office. She is the author of The Origin of Buddhist Monastic Codes in China, Hawaii University Press (2002) and Safeguarding the Heart: a Buddhist Response to Suffering and September 11, Lantern Books (2002).