Victor Sōgen Hori

Associate Professor, Japanese Religion

Victor Sōgen Hori received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Stanford University in 1976 and that same year was ordained a Zen monk. After devoting the next thirteen years to training the Rinzai Zen headquarters temple of Daitoku-ji in Kyoto, he returned to Canada to begin academic life. He has taught in the Faculty of Religious Studies since 1993 and is a member of the Centre for East Asian Research and the Centre for Medicine Ethics and Law. Professor Hori’s research topics include Asian religion and culture, the teaching of Buddhist philosophy, and the kōans of the Zen masters.


Zen Buddhism, Japanese Religion, Kyoto School, Asian ethics.


  • RELG 253 Religions of East Asia
  • CANS 300 Buddhism in Canada
  • RELG 352 Japanese Religions
  • RELG 354 Chinese Religions
  • RELG 442 Pure Land Buddhism
  • RELG 451 Zen: Maxims and Methods
  • RELG 549 Japanese Buddhist Philosophy
  • RELG 557 Asian Ethical Systems
  • RELG 645 Method in Religious Studies
  • RELG 658 Dogen: Philosophy and Practice
  • RELG 745 Meaning and Interpretation


  • Wild Geese: Studies of Buddhism in Canada co-edited with Alec Soucy, St. Mary's University, and John Harding, University of Lethbridge (McGill Queens University Press, 2009)
  • Neglected Themes and Hidden Variations (Nanzan, 2008)
  • Zen Sand (Univ Hawai'i Press, 2003)
  • The Ten Oxherding Pictures: Lectures by Yamada Mumon Roshi translated by Victor Sōgen Hori (Univ Hawai'i Press, 2004)
  • The Wheel and the Web: Collected Papers of the Teaching Buddhism Conference edited by Victor Sōgen Hori, R. P. Hayes and Mark Shields (Curzon 2002)

Current Projects

  • Flowers on the Rock: More Buddhism in Canada, with John Harding and Alec Soucy
  • The State of the Consecrated Life in Canada with Jason Zuidema
  • Little Jade: The Use of Language in Zen
  • Pot of Glue: The History of the Japanese Zen Koan Curriculum

Upcoming Events

Language Policy and Practice in Tibet: Concept, Experience and Challenges for the Future

Montreal, QC, Canada

May 19-23, 2012