official-cover-imageDear everyone,

We thought we might draw your attention to the following book that may be of interest:

Jan Kiely, J. Brooks Jessup. Recovering Buddhism in Modern China. The Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. 400 pp.

More details can be found here:

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to the introductory textbook Buddhism in America: Global Religion, Local Contexts, from Bloomsbury Press. Divided into three parts (Histories; Traditions; Frames), this introduction traces Buddhism’s history and encounter with North American culture, charts the landscape of US Buddhist communities, and engages current methodological and theoretical developments in the field.

See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/buddhism-in-america-9781472581938/#sthash.ooSltAt6.dpuf

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to an upcoming conference on Conceptuality and Nonconceptuality in Buddhist Thought, which will take place at the Center for Buddhist Studies of UC Berkeley, Friday–Sunday, November 4–6, 2016. Registration is not necessary.

For more information and updates, check the website of the Berkeley Center for Buddhist Studies:

Robot Monk

An interesting development combining technology and Buddhism can be found at Longquan Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Beijing. A robot monk named Xian’er was created to help make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to a wider audience, especially those who are accustomed to learning through technological means. Xianfian, a residing monk at Longquan developed the 60cm tall Xian’er in collaboration with a technology company and Chinese universities. Xian’er is able to respond and move to voice commands and recite chants. Through a touchscreen mounted on his chest he can answer basic questions about Buddhism and Longquan temple. Xian’er was based on a cartoon character created by Xianfian, with the same intention of spreading Buddhism to a more mainstream audience. The current abbot of Longquan temple is enthusiastic regarding digital communication and using modern means of spreading the Dharma, supporting projects such as the creation of Xian’er.

Tom Kellner photoTom Kellner is a Doctoral candidate at the Department of Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, and a guest researcher at the Department of Philosophy and Humanities, Freie Universität Berlin. Her PhD research focuses on Poetics and Ideology in Yoel Hoffmann’s Works. Hoffmann is an Israeli professor of literature and eastern philosophy, and a writer of very unique and complex prose, influenced by Zen-Buddhism as well as western philosophy.

In her research, Tom explores the literary appearances of Zen-Buddhist meditations on the Self and on the nature of language as an interesting and challenging opposition to western literary conventions. Furthermore, these Buddhist notions may convey a political potential as a way of counteracting notions of hierarchy and stability, and opposing the western Capitalization and Commoditization of the Self.

Tom would be very happy to be introduced to more examples of western literature engaged with Zen-Buddhism, and to take part in a dialogue on Buddhist ethics and its relations to state-power and state-violence. By doing so, she hopes to broaden her discussion of the interrelations and literary representations of the Self, “reality” and language.

zen-for-nothingWe are pleased to inform you about the premiere of the documentary film Zen for Nothing by Werner Penzel. The film takes place on the west coast of Japan, at the remote Zen monastery Antai-ji to which zazen was brought by the well known Japanese Sōtō Zen teacher Kodo Sawaki (1880-1965). Unlike most Japanese Zen monasteries, the center is open for both men and women and has modern additions such as available wireless internet. Zen for Nothing follows Sabine Timoteo, a young Swiss woman through the practices and lifestyle at Antai-Ji monastery, including zazen meditations, agricultural work and daily rituals.

The film will be premiering at the beginning of June, 2016 throughout Germany and Switzerland. For more information visit: http://www.zorrofilm.de/index.php?id=151

CRBS Vol. 18The Geumgang Center for Buddhist Studies, based at the Geumgang University in South Korea, has issued a call for papers for the Critical Review for Buddhist Studies journal. The center focuses on the “Inspection of the Cultural Processes of Formation, Transformation and Reception with regard to the Buddhist Classical Languages and their Texts.” Articles concerning textual studies on Buddhism are welcomed, as are more general articles covering Indian, Tibetan and East Asian Buddhism as well as book reviews. Though the Critical Review for Buddhist Studies is often multi-lingual, only submissions in English have been requested. For more details or information, contact criticalreviewforbs@gmail.com or refer to their Call for Papers submitted to: https://networks.h-net.org/node/6060/discussions/118112/cfp-critical-review-buddhist-studies-crbs.