Institute of Religion and Humanity


1. Department Aims

Established in the year 2000, the research department’s aim is to cultivate Tzu Chi philosophy, along with research and religious education without regard to creed and based on praxis of religious acts. The department guides students in theory of religion and research methods by carefully investigating the relationship between religion and social action; this involves areas such as medicine, the media, culture, education, charity, counseling, the arts etc as well as the field of Tzu Chi principles.

2. Special features

The department is a part of Tzu Chi — It believes in the importance of the cultivation of a “bohisattva spirit” and a “Buddhist lifestyle”, and active promotion of humanist values. By becoming involved in Tzu Chi activities in fields such as education, bone marrow donation, international disaster relief, community volunteering, and recycling teachers and students gain practical experience from which to develop hypotheses and research, thereby understanding the influences of religious belief and activity on Taiwan society during the last few decades. These resources, along with a balance of theory and practice, offer teachers and students of the department a unique advantage. We encourage students to pursue studies based on field research, enhancing their observations by utilizing principles drawn from Western religious theory while developing a theoretical position of compassion and benevolence for the benefit of society.

2.1 Development of teaching and research: the two main themes are “religious practices” and “religious healing”, drawing on 40 years of Tzu Chi service experience, and emphasizing religious empathy, service, self-cultivation and good deeds.
2.2 The institute plans collaboration with other departments of the university, gradually develop clinical humanity programs of courses, such as ‘experiences of religious healing’ , ‘culture of altruism’, ‘religion and medicine’, ‘religion and social welfare’, and ‘mindfulness and social work’ etc.

3. Teaching Aims

The department embraces the concept of ‘Tzu Chi Great Love’ combined with volunteering work in the wider environment to reinforce students academic research abilities; the core value is the application of religious belief to action in society and the development of a ‘volunteer ethos’, which can be put into practice within medicine, culture, media, education, charity, counseling, and the arts etc.

4.Faculty Profiles



Academic Title

Academic Degree

Lin, An-Wu Professor Ph. D in PhilosophyNational Taiwan University
Lin, Mei-Rong Professor Ph. D. in social scienceUniversity of California, at Irvine, USA
Lu, Hwei-Syin Professor Ph. D in AnthropologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Lin, Chien-Te Professor Ph. D in PhilosophyNational Taiwan University
Chou, Jou-Han Associate Professor Ph.D. in Literature,Rissho University, Japan


Theory of Religious Studies﹑Religion and Culture ﹑A Study of the Buddhist Sutra (Chinese Agamas)﹑Theory and Practice of Yogacara Buddhism﹑Religion and Gender ﹑Research for the Interpretation of ” I Ching” ﹑Religion of China and Logotherapy﹑Seminar on Taiwan Folk Religion ﹑Seminars and Field Work of Religious Practices﹑Research Methods and Thesis Writing ﹑Seminar on Tzuchi’s Religious Experiences ﹑Research for The Analects and the Aphorisms﹑Seminar on Madhyamika Philosophy﹑Independent Study ﹑Research for the Philosophy of ” I Ching” and Logotherapy .

6. Future Developments

(1) Teaching
will more emphasize on practicum courses in religious service. Students are encouraged to participate in some service work, and do their researches based on their field experience.
(2) Research
to collaborate with teachers from the research departments of Human Development, Aboriginal Health, Social Work and Education in order to develop integrated research programs which can promote further study of specific research topics.
(3) Service
a. through the Program of the Center of Extent Education at TCU to establish courses for local residents.
b. through the Da Ai TV channel, to interpret the concerns of the department so that they may be understood by the community at large.
c. to provide religious consultancy services to local community groups and government bodies.
(4) Professional Collaboration
assist, and provide courses for, people who work for religious groups or government bodies who deal with religious affairs.
(5) School-to-school and International Collaboration
a. under a co-operative agreement, students may undertake classes or carry out joint research projects at either National Dong Hwa University or National Hualien University of Education.
b. The university is officially twinned with Berkeley University, USA; Beijing University, China; The University of British Columbia, Canada; Bukkyo University, Japan, providing for collaborative links with relevant departments of religion through teacher and student exchanges. Additionally, the department invites foreign scholars of religion to undertake short-term residencies.

7. Career Planning

Graduating students may consider proceeding onto PhD programs in religion, philosophy, sociology and anthropology, or enter employment fields such as social welfare, psychological counseling, or cultural/media services.

8. Other Information

a. Students who have taken Holy Orders and are admitted to the department receive a partial fee subsidy from the Tzu Chi Foundation.
b. Website: http://www.religion.tcu.edu.tw
Telephone: 03-8572677*3211

Mailing address:

Tzu Chi University

Institute of Religion and Humanity

No. 67, Jieren St., Hualien, 97041, Taiwan