Philippe Turenne

Associate Professor



Philippe was born in Canada and has studied Buddhism in both traditional and academic contexts. Since 1996 he has studied primarily with Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. Philippe’s academic studies have mostly been at McGill University and the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India. Philippe joined RYI in 2011 where he currently teaches on both the BA and MA programs.


2012-CurrentAssistant ProfessorRangjung Yeshe Institute
2011LecturerRangjung Yeshe Institute
2011PhDMcGill University
2005-2011Course LecturerMcGill University
2002BAMcGill University

Research Interests

  • Buddhist Hermeneutic
  • Five Treatises of Maitreya
  • Madhyamaka Philosophy
  • Methodology of Buddhist Studies

Current Projects

  • Traditional Tibetan Linguistics. I am currently translating a sample of texts from traditional Tibetan linguistic science for the Library of Tibetan Classics series.
  • Buddhist philosophy and methodology. I have recently to explore the practical dimensions of Buddhist philosophy and the consequences this feature of the Buddhist tradition entails on the way we study Buddhist philosophy.
  • Devotion in Tibetan Buddhism. I am reflecting on the place of devotion in Tibetan Buddhism, especially around the genre called guru’i gsol ‘debs, exemplified in particular by the famous rnying ma supplication called the guru’i gsol ‘debs le’u bdun ma.


  • Cinthia Font, “The Inner Life of Chogyal Rigdzin Terdag Lingpa.”
  • Katrin Jäger, “Gampopa, the Incomparable Physician from Dagpo.”
  • Adam Kane, “A Study and Translation of Padma Karpo’s Distinguishing the Four Yogas with Certainty—The Supreme Amongst all Explanations of Mahāmudra.”
  • Ishwor Shrestha, “Gurupañcāśikāṭīkā, Grags pa rgyal mtshan’s Commentary on Aśvaghoṣa’s Fifty Verses on Guru Devotion.”
  • Anna Zilman, “’Jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po and the ris med movement”

Publications In review

  • “Interpretations of Unity: Hermeneutics in Śākya mchog ldan’s Interpretation of the Five Treatises of Maitreya”. McGill PhD thesis, 2011

Conference Presentations

  • “Śākya mchog ldan on Hermeneutics.” International Buddhist Association, June 2012.
  • “Consciousness, Insight and Gnosis: Elaborations on a Complex Relationship.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy/Society for Islamic Philosophy, Fordham University, Oct. 10th, 2010.
  • “Buddhist Funeral Practices”. Guest lecture, Cégep de Rosemont, culture et thanatologie (April 2008, November 2009)
  • “Disagreeing with the Same View: On the Alleged philosophical nature of some Tibetan debates”. Annual Meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy/Society for Islamic Philosophy, Fordham University, Oct., 17th, 2009.
  • Moderator, “Dancing and Singing in the Name of the Gods”. McGill/CREOR Graduate Student Conference, Montreal, March 2009.


Post Graduate

  • Research Seminar I: Madhyamaka (BSTD 505/603), Specialized Historical and Textual Studies (BSTD 601), Advanced Readings (Tibetan) (BSTD 507)


  • History of Buddhism in Asia (BSTD 101)
  • BSTD 403 – Himalayan Buddhist Ritual and Meditation Practices
  • Beginner’s Colloquial Tibetan (TLAN 101)


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Online Resources

Rinpoche Talk for RYI - 2022
Weekly Meditation Class ~ Day 1
Erik Pema Kunsang & Catherine Dalton - "The Practice of Buddhist Translation"

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