Date and Time: Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 5:00AM PST/8:00AM EST
Zoom link: https://ubc.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Ylf-Gqrz0rHNXLQhbOJDOexkft0VsWPtNW
The domain of ‘Buddhist education’ makes a distinction between education for the Sangha and Buddhist learning for the lay believers. In the context of education within/for lay society, Buddhist monastics and lay intellectuals did more than simply lecturing the laity about doctrinal principles and practice. For instance, in both the pre-modern and modern China, they have offered elementary and non-religious teaching whenever and wherever public schools were not available; Buddhist institutions also served, sometimes, as the only providers of education for certain social groups, especially women; and they have functioned as examples of private learning and models for other forms of institutions like the Confucian academies (shuyuan 書院) in the premodern era. In consideration of the positive guidance that Buddhist ethics could have offered, Chinese monastics have also been called to teach in other venues, like military camps or prisons. Finally, besides formal lecturing, Chinese monastics have often inspired by example, and facilitated the development of the surrounding community through their leadership, continuous guidance, and practical initiatives. Multiple, then, have been the ways in which Buddhists could intervene in society and educate, offering forms of learning that very often have gone beyond the traditional format and the classroom.
This talk will address Buddhists as educators in the larger society, exploring several cases from the first half of the twentieth century. It will continue showing that this engagement in society have continued after the Republican period and is still visible today, although in a different format due to a new socio-historical context. The talk will end with reflections on further potentials for Buddhists as educators in the twenty-first century.
About the speakers:
Dr. Stephania Travagnin, SOAS, University of London
Discussants: Chin-Lon Lin (Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation), André Laliberté (University of Ottawa)
For more information about the speakers, discussants, and the Yin-Cheng Distinguished Lecture Series on Buddhism, please see the original post