Pāli at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto (U of T) is the only academic institution in Canada that offers regular Pāli courses and one of the very few universities in North America where this language is taught at all.

Additionally, U of T is the only Western academic institution where Pāli is taught, embedded in a specific regional tradition, the Burmese one, and where students, starting from the undergraduate level, are exposed to Pāli manuscript culture.

Join the Pāli beginners course, which offers both a no-prerequisites introduction to the classical language of Theravāda Buddhism and a hands-on approach to reading Buddhist texts in Burmese script first-hand from the leaves they were written on. Whether you are interested in just learning the basics of Pāli and reading Buddhist scriptures in the original, getting a glimpse at Southeast Asian manuscripts, or laying the ground for further readings in Theravāda literature, the course is a language-oriented introduction to the study of Buddhist texts in South and Southeast Asia.

Course types: At U of T, Pāli can be taken as a directed reading course on either the undergraduate or graduate level. It may also be taken as a Research Opportunity (ROP) course or merely be audited. For those planning to continue with Pāli or who already come with a basic knowledge of Pāli, courses on the intermediate and advanced levels are also offered regularly.

Timings: year-long, twice a week, September-November, January-April

Textbook: James W. Gair & W.S. Karunatillake, A New Course in Reading Pāli: Entering the Word of the Buddha. Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120814417.

Start: every fall, starting September

For further information please contact Christoph Emmrich, christoph.emmrich@utoronto.ca.