Graduate Students


Sean Hillman
M.A. Religion (Buddhist Studies)/Bioethics
Religious Studies Thesis Supervisor: Prof. Frances Garrett
Bioethics Thesis Committee Member: Dr. Joseph Chadrakanthan
Thesis: A Bioethical Analysis of a Buddhist Death in a Toronto Catholic Hospital. (2011)
PhD student (double collaboration, class of 2016), Religion/Bioethics/South Asian Studies
Supervisors: Prof. Frances Garrett, Prof. Arti Dhand
Thesis: A Multi-sited Ethnographic Investigation into the Influence of Religion on End-of-life Decision-making Among Hindus, Jains and Tibetan Buddhists in Contemporary India.



“Jain Voluntary Death and Secular End-of-life Care.” Shramana (Quarterly Jain Studies Journal).


Varanasi (India): Shri Parsvanath Vidyapeeth Research Institute, Vol. LXII No.1 (2011): 65-85.

Paper Presentations:


1) 2012. “Voluntary Death in South Asian Religions.” Community of Scholars Seminar Series. Lupina Centre for Spirituality, Healthcare and Ethics. Regis College, University of Toronto.


2) 2011. “Voluntary Death in the Hindu Epics Mahābhārata & Rāmāya?a.” Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions: Crossing Boundaries: Texts, Traditions, Temporalities. Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto.


3) 2010. “Jain Voluntary Death and Secular End-of-life Care.” Social Consciousness and Jainism Conference. University of Ottawa.


4) 2010. “Sallekhana-Santhārā-Samādhīmara?a and End-of-life Care: Jain Voluntary and Controlled Death in Equanimity through Fasting and Reduction of Activity as a Model for Secular Health Care.” International Summer School for Jain Studies research conference. New Delhi, India.



1) 2012. Guest Lecturer. “Caring for Buddhist Patients and Buddhist Approaches to Caregiving.” MscOT (Occupational Therapy) graduate class on spirituality and healthcare. Deirdre R. Dawson, PhD, Associate Professor, Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Toronto.


2) 2011. Guest Lecturer. “Buddhist Perspectives on Peace.” Graduate course, Health: an Engine for the Journey to Peace. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish MD, MPH (known as “the Gaza Doctor” and author of bestselling book “I Shall Not Hate”). Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.


3) 2011. Guest Lecturer. “Mystical Experience in Buddhism and Jainism.” Undergraduate course, Living Religions: Rituals and Experiences (Critical comparative study of the major Indian religious traditions). Prof. Henry Shiu, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Scarborough, Department of Humanities.

Selected Talks:


1) 2012. “Buddhist Perspectives on Social Justice.” Perspectives on Social Justice Interfaith Dialogue. Toronto Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI), Faith Communities in Action Against Poverty (ISARC) & The Church of the Holy Trinity.


2) 2011. “Buddhist and Jain Ways of Dying.” Ethics Grand Rounds. St. Michael’s Hospital Department of Bioethics.