Songlin Yang

Professor Shen:
Thank you for illuminating my voyage of life when I almost lost myself.Just as Marcel Proust said, it’s you, as a charming gardener, that made my soul blossom. My appreciation is more than any words that can say. Rest In Peace.

Qixiang Zhao

Professor Shen was a generous teacher and a true philosopher. His inspiring lectures keeps guiding and motivating me and many other students to determine academic goals and ways of life. And more importantly, he practiced what he preached. And in this way he deeply encouraged many helpless students: knowledge and learning are not empty analysis, but the warmth and power of mind. I sincerely believe that Professor Shen’s students will pass on his spirits and devotion to the Chinese philosophy, and he will forever be in our hearts.

Kedao Tong

With his heartfelt care to students, his remarkable devotion to teaching and research, and profound erudition in a wide range of fields, Professor Shen was a real gentleman and a model of a scholar. I was fortunate to have studied Chinese philosophy with Professor Shen as an undergraduate student at U of T. It was truly an honor and a privilege. His generous support for students and his rigor of scholarship leave an indelible impression on me. His charisma and integrity will continue to inspire me and always be remembered.

Xiangnong (Herbert) Hu

I studied under Professor Shen’s supervision and guidance as an undergraduate student in East Asian Studies between 2011 and 2015. I took all the courses that were instructed by Prof Shen during that period of time, including an independent study. In 2014, Prof Shen kindly asked me to work as an assistant in his conference “Sound, Image, and Text in East Asia,” which was a chance that I never expected to have as an undergraduate student. After becoming more acquainted with him after that conference, I always go to his office to chat with him, from academic concerns to personal life matters. For me, Prof Shen is not just a Confucian gentleman (Junzi) that everyone should model upon, but also like a kind and knowledgeable grandpa that I have never had. Before I left UofT, Prof Shen signed one of his books for me and wrote down a sentence from Zhuangzi, which says “Yongzhibufen, Nainingyushen” (keeps the will undivided and concentrates on the spirit). I still keep this as my motto and read it whenever I feel tired of my study.

After I graduated from UofT, Prof Shen supported my applications to graduate schools with his strong letter of recommendations twice. He originally was going to support me again for my PhD application in this December, but unfortunately his support and wishes can only come from heaven now. In the last email he sent to me, which was on 4 November, Prof Shen said: “Xiangnong, I’ll be pleased to write for you. I’ll send the letter when you notify me and give me the address. Vincent.” I will keep this email as a precious gift, which will let me remember a great philosopher and teacher who has spent his lifetime to take great care to his students.

John CHENG Wai Leung

Prof. Vincent SHEN, my Ph.D. thesis supervisor was really a well-educated scholar and kind-hearted gentleman. He is really missed. May God who is living Love and Mercy give him everlasting repose in Heaven!

Hana Kim

Professor Shen always had a kind and thoughtful word for you. He was a generous teacher and colleague. Professor Shen was the East Asian Library’s passionate long-time supporter. His legacy will remain and be remembered dearly.
— Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library

KaiYuan Chen

As a student studying statistic and envrionment in University of Toronto, I never thought Philosophy can be this important and interesting after the first time met with Prof.Shen one and half year ago. The first time I met Prof.Shen was during my third year in University of Toronto, and his course of PHL237 as introduction in Chinese Philosophy is really a the key of starting my interest in Chinese philosophy, and even taking me into the study of East Asian minor as a part of my special interest.

In this year, I’m the last group of student for Prof.Shen in his PHL337 class as studying his selected topic in Daoism, and I never ever thought the class in 2018.11.29 was the last time we see Prof.Shen in life. After hearing the new of Prof.Shen passed away in early Tuesday morning, I literally starting to have tear dripping and it is absolutely shocking to me as losing a person that is more than an instructor in academic for me. Prof.Shen, he has contributed his entire life with his passion in teaching and Chinese philosophy, as his student, he is not just a professor in the school, but a life guidance that teach you what is humblness and respect throughout all the contacts. It is a harsh feeling when looking into Prof.Shen’s comment in my paper that just recieved 2 weeks ago, and realizing he is not going to make such comment again for the paper in front of me, my mind is fulfilled with sadness.

I’m truely glad and honored to be a student for Prof.Shen, and I will never forgot his words as the instruction towards my future life.
KaiYuan Chen 2018.11.16

学生 陈恺元 2018.11.16

Helen Xiaoyan Wu

I was saddened to learn that Vincent had passed away on November 14. My deepest sympathies go out to Johanna!

Vincent and I were colleagues for seven years between 2000 and 2007. I do remember him as a most brilliant scholar and a kind-hearted person. The various talks he gave, including those at the Inter-universities Seminars on the Dao of the Chinese Language and Culture, left a lasting impression on me.

May Vincent rest in peace.

Helen Wu

Shirley Ou Yang

I met Prof. Shen in the second years of my university in Taiwan. His Metaphysics course was an unforgettable course for me. The course not only established my world view as a junior student, but also had a life-long impact on my life and my study. In particular, educated in a non-Christian tradition system, I benefited from Prof. Shen’s Metaphysics course because he opened a door for me to know more about God (Divine Being) and man (human being), and their relationship. Different from most courses in college, his Metaphysics course never place human rationality in the center, but set a good foundation for us to ponder upon what the essence of a humble human being truly is and his position before creator and other creatures. In an age of post truth, people tend to do homage to new technology and easily confused about diversified misinformation, Prof. Shen’s Metaphysics will continually inspires and instructs this and future generation. He have fought the good fight, finished his course, and set a good example for many. May you rest in the arm of our Heavenly Father, thank you for your brave and fruitul life, Prof. Shen.

Borong Zhang

Prof. Shen is one of the most generous teachers I have ever met. I thank him for his patience, his intelligence, and his caring for all of us.

I have known Prof. Shen only for two years, but he has changed me, irrevocably. When I was a freshman, life in university overwhelmed me desperately. At that time, I doubted my ability to accomplish anything. Prof. Shen helped me when I need it most. Without his patience and support, I could not get out of depression by myself and decided to get back on my feet.

When I heard the sad news of his passing, beside unbelievable, there were so many thoughts and memories that raced through my head, the very first thought I have is about his email address; it was so familiar to me because he was so supportive. I even get used to receiving his reply in one hour, no matter where he was, when did I send out the email. To me, it feels like a natural phenomenon that he is always there for us. Even when now, I still secretly expect a reply from him. Many of my friends and I experienced caring and support like a parent from him. The enthusiastic energy and caring he put into helping us are unspeakable. I treasure his every word and help he has ever given to me.

Academically, Prof. Shen strived relentlessly to guide us toward a unique understanding of how much people could be and think… His lecture raised my interests in Chinese philosophy, and I will continue to learn more in the future. Not only his works inspired me a lot, but his generosity as an individual also taught me how to be a better person. I could not express my gratefulness to him.

I have so many things and memories, but it is hard to express them all. Overall, I glad that I took his classes. He was my favorite teacher, and will always be. Again, thank you, Prof. Shen.

Yijia Xu

I took Professor. Shen’s PHL237 and PHL337. After the end of PHL337, I received an email from Professor Shen. He asked me if I would be interested in also taking his 338 course in the coming year. However, I was about to graduate at that time. I told Professor. Shen, and he said congratulation to me and wished me a brilliant future….

I emailed Professor Shen When I was still confused about ren,yi and li, and he replied me back the email so quickly and thoroughly. It all feels like yesterday. It was one of the last course I took in my university life, and it was a course I will never forget.

Professor Shen was the best professor I’ve ever met in my whole life. We are all so lucky to have the chance the know Professor Shen.
您的学生 – Yijia