Proposals sought in Buddhist Studies and other fields for Bristol Postgraduate Conference

bristol conference 2015 religion and nature

Paper proposals are being accepted for the Twentieth Annual Postgraduate Conference for Religion and Theology (13-14 March, 2015). Located in beautiful Bristol, England, the University of Bristol Theology and Religious Studies department provides the perfect venue for postgraduates along with some undergraduates and early career academics to present their work before a diverse, thoughtful, and supportive audience. In past years, presenters have come from around the world to take part in this, t … [Read more...]

Studying Philosophy or Religion? Two articles you should read and share today

Religious Studies textbooks

As winter break wraps up and spring semester starts at colleges and universities across the country, more than a few students out there will be reconsidering their choice of majors, or at least dabbling in fun and interesting classes outside their department. While a number of classes may come highly recommended, two courses that really must be taken by any student today are an Introduction to World Religions and an introductory Philosophy course, which come under many names:"World … [Read more...]

Superscholar.org introduces an Infographic on Eastern Philosophy

history of eastern philosophy

Hmm... I almost put up scare quotes around 'Eastern Philosophy' - but then I thought I'd just put them up around 'Eastern' - and then just around 'Philosophy' - but perhaps each, separately, needed its own scare quotes. Then again, what exactly is an 'infographic'?Scare quotes and worries about definitions aside (do some research and decide for yourself what these words mean), I was sent this the other day and found it interesting and useful enough to warrant sharing. As an educator I think … [Read more...]

Ajahn Brahm’s Gender Equality in Buddhism petition nears 5000 signatures

ajahn brahm talk on women UNDV

As per a request on twitter, I'm reposting this with the hopes of driving the petition over 5000 (it needs just 239 more as of now): In May, Ajahn Brahm, one of the world's best known Theravadin monks, was scheduled to give a talk on gender equality (and lack thereof) in Buddhism in Vietnam at the annual UN Day of Vesak conference. However, at the last minute his talk was canceled. Here Ajahn Brahm talks about why:Now you can sign a petition, launched today in the UK, asking the UNDV … [Read more...]

Notes on teaching Buddhist philosophy

buddha with plato and aristotle at the academy

I'm teaching Buddhist philosophy in Bodhgaya, India at the moment, so much of my blogging-life is taken up by activities here. In lieu of all of that (I will post on my usual topics now and then) I thought I'd share notes from my teaching.Teaching Buddhist philosophy to American college students from diverse backgrounds (some with extensive philosophy, some with Buddhism, some with a mix or neither) has been a challenge. To start, I wanted to get them thinking as philosophers, inheritors of … [Read more...]

Contentious Tibetan Buddhist deity worship discussed in London panel

shugden_panel_youtube

In what may have been a first-of-its-kind event, representatives of the International Shugden Community joined academics, a Geluk Buddhist monk, and a former member of the New Kadampa Tradition to discuss the history and current status of Dorje Shugden. Shugden, in short, is a 'protector deity' historically associated with the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. His supposed power has led to great devotion by a number of esteemed Buddhist teachers, foremost among them Pabongkha Rinpoche, whose … [Read more...]

Vegetarianism and Animals in Early Indian Buddhism

wheel of life - small

In this presentation, University of Toronto graduate student Sean M. Smith discusses the relationship between humans and other animals in the psychological and cosmological teachings of early Buddhism.I knew I would like the talk after the first 30 seconds, when he said: As a philosopher I am not interested in contingent historical details. I'm interested in truth, and I think Buddhist Philosophy, and especially Buddhist Philosophy in its early Indian guise - sometimes called the Theravadin … [Read more...]

That all-too-human urge to understand the heart of things

the jains

As I discussed in a recent post at the Indian Philosophy Blog, there is quite often a divide in approaches taken to the study of religion between what we might broadly call the 'philosophers' and the 'historians'. Philosophers, and I count myself as one of these most days, seek out the meaning of texts, seeing them as doorways into distant lands and into the minds of great thinkers, past and present. We often have to construct meanings through fragmentary and at times conflicting evidence: at o … [Read more...]


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