Evgeny Torchinov

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Evgeny Alexeevich Torchinov
Evgeny Torchinov, 2002, Niagara Falls.jpg
Evgeny Torchinov (2002)
Born (1956-08-22)August 22, 1956
Ordzhonikidze, USSR
Died July 12, 2003(2003-07-12) (aged 46)
St. Petersburg, Russia
Nationality Russian
Citizenship USSR, Russia
Alma mater Saint Petersburg State University
Occupation Sinologist, buddhist scholar, professor, translator
Website torchinov.com (in Russian)

Evgeny Torchinov (Russian Евгений Алексеевич Торчинов), (August 22, 1956 – July 12, 2003),[1] was a Russian sinologist, Buddhist scholar, professor, and translator. He was best known as an eminent Russian researcher of ancient Chinese religion and philosophy, author of many books and translations of classical Chinese texts (especially Buddhist and Taoist) into Russian. He founded the chair of Eastern philosophy and cultures at St. Petersburg State University.

Life and career[edit]

Evgeny Torchinov was born on August 22, 1956, in the city of Ordzhonikidze (then USSR), and soon his family moved to Saratov. After graduation from high-school in 1973, Torchinov was admitted to the Faculty of Oriental Studies of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) State University, where he majored in Chinese philology. After graduation in 1978, he became a Ph.D. candidate at the State Museum of History of Religion and Atheism, where he worked as a research fellow from 1981 to 1984. From 1984 and until 1994, he worked as researcher at the St.Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences.

In 1994, he defended his second doctoral dissertation entitled "Taoism: An attempt of historical-religious description". In 1998, he became the Chair of Philosophy of Religion and Religious Studies at St. Petersburg State University, and in 1999 created and led as the chair of Oriental Philosophy and Cultures.

Torchinov began to consider himself a Buddhist in 1975. He was the official representative in Russia and a member of the Board of directors of, consultant and laic Buddhist lecturer for Buddha's Light International Association,[2][3] and president of St. Petersburg Buddhist association Fo Guan (Buddha's Light).[4] Torchinov called himself off-sect Buddhist.[5]

He also worked as a visiting professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Torchinov died on July 12, 2003, in Saint Petersburg.

Academic activity[edit]

Torchinov made contributions to Taoism studies and translation of classical Taoist treatises. In his doctoral thesis he provided a detailed review of Taoism, its history, schools and concepts, relying on Chinese sources and global sinology. Later, he had the Taoist review published as a monograph aimed for non-specialist audience.

Many of Torchinov's publications give an insight into the practical aspects of Taoism such as Outer Alchemy, Inner Alchemy, meditation techniques, afterlife techniques, and esoteric sex practices.

Torchinov's long studies of Buddhism resulted in publication of an academic manual, Introduction to Buddhology.

His academic interest in this field was focused on Mahajana and Far East Buddhism. He translated several authoritative Buddhist works from Chinese and Old Chinese into Russian, including The Treatise on evocation of trust in Mahajana.

Torchinov translated a number of Ch'an Buddhism treatises, classical and modern.

Generalizing his religious studies, Torchinov released a book entitled Religions of the world: Experience of the Transcendence dealing with transcendental states of consciousness and psychic techniques. The book provides in-depth analyses of Shamanism, ancient religions, sects, and modern world religions.

Torchinov wrote several works in comparative religious studies. Some of his works are also dedicated to Kabbalah.

Selected bibliography[edit]

Monographs and books[edit]





External links[edit]

  • Torchinov's website (in Russian) [1]
  • Website, dedicated to memory of Torchinov (in Russian) [2]
  • Academic legacy of Torchinov, by E.Kiy (in Russian) [3]
  • Torchinov's bibliography, by E.Kiy (in Russian) [4].
  • Torchinov's page on Russian Anthropology website (in Russian) [5]
  • Torchinov's page at the (in Russian) at St. Petersburg State University website [6]
  • Torchinov's Readings Conference (in Russian) [7]