Colorado College Religion DepartmentCollege & University in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Opening tomorrow! Learn more and get tickets at dmns.org/deadseascrolls
Interview with David Germano at the 2017 Summer Institute on Buddhism and Science, Putting the Buddhism/Science Dialogue on a New Footing, hosted by the Mangala...m Research Center from July 17-26, 2017.
David Germano is a Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia. UVA's Tibetan Studies and Buddhist Studies programs are amongst the largest in the West. In 2000, he founded the Tibetan and Himalayan Library (www.thlib.org), the world's major digital initiative building collaborative knowledge on the region. He is the founding director of the Tibet Center (www.uvatibetcenter.org), which runs extensive set academic operations in Tibet and Bhutan, and of SHANTI (Sciences, Humanities and the Arts Network of Technological Initiatives, www.uvashanti.org), an initiative aimed at the mainstreaming of cutting edge digital technology for faculty, students, and staff across the University.
In this interview, he discusses Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice across the boundaries of the humanities and sciences, emphasizing the importance of context when understanding these practices.
This project was made possible through the generous support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.
Some local history....
For those in the Denver area who are interested in Asian art and religion, this is an excellent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, with a wide variety of objects on display, including a large Chola Nataraja and a small Buddha from the Kushan period in Gandhara, among many other pieces from South, Southeast, and East Asia.
Bronze Shiva Naṭarāja from the Chola period (c. 1200 CE) in South India. Photo by Tracy Coleman taken at the Denver Art Museum's "Linking Asia" exhibit.
For those in the Denver area, this is a small but good exhibit on Ganesha at DAM through October.
BEING MUSLIM: WOMEN OF COLOR IN AMERICAN ISLAM. A First Monday Talk by Rutgers University Professor Sylvia Chan-Malik. Catch it on Monday October 23, 2017 at 11:15 A.M.!
RE 120 Judaism Block 4!
What is Judaism? What makes someone a Jew or Jewish? In “Judaism” RE-120, we examine how Judaism has been practiced throughout history, from the ancestor stories of the Hebrew Bible to the modern day. We sample many primary, classical Jewish texts in order to understand developments in Jewish thought throughout space and time, and explore some of the common themes that have tied together people of diverse historical periods and geographical locations, such as community and the relationship of Jewish (and other) communities to God. There will also be an experiential component based on site-visits, guest speakers, and a learning portfolio on a topic of the student’s choice. For an example of what we do in RE-120, visit the CC Judaism blog at: ccjudaism.wordpress.com
Film screening and discussion, October 2, 7:00 pm.
Congratulations to Professor Emeritus David Weddle on the recent publication of his latest book!
Here (below) is a wonderfully insightful response by the New Yorker's Adam Gropnik to the new book by Robert Wright that has received much press, "Why Buddhism is True." I have yet to read the book but have read several reviews and excerpts.
Like Gopnik, I appreciate affirmations of the benefits of meditation and the wisdom in Buddhist psychology. Yet the implication in Wright's title seems unfortunate: Are other religions "false"? By whose criteria? Wright also leans... toward seeing Buddhism as a secular teaching not as a full blown world religion. He sees some of its philosophical and psychological claims as well supported by modern logic and science. Supposing this view is correct, does it follow that "Buddhism is true?" Likewise, ought we say, for example, that "Christianity is false" because it claims the world was created in seven days? Ought we claim it is true because it says we should love our neighbors as ourselves? What aspect of a tradition can one rightfully pull out as fully representative of the supposed "whole" in order to claim truth or falsity?
Let me just state plainly, that making such claims is not the task of a scholar of religion.
Granted, one can employ Buddhist insights and techniques effectively in a secular life. Fine, please do. But to abstract from a vast and complex tradition, with monasteries and scriptures and rituals and so on, the mechanics of mindfulness and a formula for softening our suffering and to say "these are Buddhism" is to narrow our understanding of history and of so much more. Frankly, I think the book's title and key arguments reflect an impoverished ability to reflect on "religion" and religious phenomena. Considering how key such phenomena are to the lives of SO many people on our planet, it is unfortunate that such weak understanding still prevails. Serious study of religion, such as what our department offers, is a fine antidote for this weakness.
Adam Gropnik's critique of Wright's book is nuanced. He clearly knows a great deal about Buddhism, and appropriately cites the popular author (and Buddhist) Stephen Batchelor, who wrote "Buddhism without Beliefs," "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist" and "Beyond Buddhism." Batchelor loves and wants to promote Buddhist thought and practice, but believes the factors that made "Buddhism" into a religion -- institutions, hierarchies, power struggles and superstitions -- were unfortunate, and were extraneous to the Buddha's core message. His is one view, and it lacks historical sensitivity. But his books are full of keen insights and very worth reading for one who wants to learn about how to apply certain Buddhist ideas and practices into one's life. Gropnik gets the difference between liking aspects of a tradition, and even finding them true, and making broad claims about the entire tradition as a result. His review is nuanced, sympathetic, critical and powerful.