Symposium 2014

Dharma and the Academy: Critical Reasoning about Faith, Doctrine, and Practice

Kathmandu University Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute’s 2014 symposium, entitled Dharma and the Academy: Critical Reasoning about Faith, Doctrine, and Practice, examined how critical reasoning about doctrine and practice complements faith. The event was held on March 15, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Kathmandu.

Listen by clicking the SoundCloud links below as the complicated intersection of critical reasoning and faith-based practice is explored. 

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Francis X. Clooney S.J., Harvard Divinity School, USA

“The Collaboration of Critical Reasoning and Faith in a Christian’s Study of Hinduism” 

Francis X. Clooney is Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology and director of the Center for the Study of World Religions. After earning his doctorate in South Asian languages and civilizations (University of Chicago), he taught at Boston College for twenty-one years, until coming to Harvard. His primary areas of scholarship are theological commentarial writings in the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions of Hindu India, and the developing field of comparative theology, a discipline distinguished by attentiveness to the dynamics of theological learning deepened through the study of traditions other than one’s own. Clooney is the author of numerous articles and books, the most recent being, His Hiding Place Is Darkness: A Hindu-Catholic Theopoetics of Divine Absence (forthcoming). 

Prof. Karin Meyers, Kathmandu University Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute 

“On training Scholar-Practitioners in the Twenty-First Century: Lessons from the Modern Academy and Buddhist Scripture” 

Professor Meyers teaches in the BA and MA programs at the Centre for Buddhist Studies. Her dissertation research focused on free will in light of South Asian Buddhist scholastic thought. Her current research concerns the intersection between Buddhist philosophical systems, path theory, and meditation practices in Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma, and Yogācāra Buddhism. 

Dr. Thomas Doctor, Editor-in-Chief, Dharmachakra Translation Committee

“Skepticism as the Means of Meaning–Towards Translating Scripture” 

Dr. Doctor studies the views and practices of Buddhism in South Asia and Tibet. He has published several translations of Buddhist scriptures, classical treatises, as well as research on Mahāyāna philosophy. He is the editor-in-chief at the Dharmachakra Translation Committee. 

Prof. Roger Jackson, Carleton College, USA

“After Buddhist Theology: Further Reflections on the Path to the Middle” *

Professor Jackson teaches the religions of South Asia and Tibet. His special interests include Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and ritual; Buddhist religious poetry; religion and society in Sri Lanka; the study of mysticism; and contemporary Buddhist thought. In addition to his many publications, he is a past editor of the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, and is currently co-editor of the Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies. 

*Unfortunately the sound file for this talk was damaged and is unavailable.

Thank you for visiting! CBS would like to acknowledge and thank the Tsadra Foundation and Desideri House for their generous sponsorship of the 2014 symposium. 


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