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Spring 2017

Events Spring 2017

"ONE MIND," a film screening with director Ted Burger.

Monday, Feb. 6, 2017
Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

ONE MIND is a rare cinematic portrait of life inside one of China's most austere and revered Zen communities.  The monks at Zhenru Chan Monastery continue to uphold a strict monastic code established over 1200 years ago by the founding patriarchs of Zen in China.  In harmony with the land tthat sustains them, the monks operate an organic farm, grow tea, and harvest bamboo to fuel their kitchen fires.  At the heart of this community, a group of cloistered meditators sit in silence for 8 hours every day.  Suggesting a Zen version of the critically acclaimed film Into Great Silence, ONE MIND offers an intimate glimpse into a thriving Buddhist monastery in modern China.

Director Edward A. Burger (AMONGST WHITE CLOUDS) has lived and studied with Buddhist communities in China for over 15 years, and is the first Western filmmaker to be granted such unprecedented access to the daily rituals and traditions practiced in this remote mountain monastery.

Free and open to the public.  Co-sponsored by the Concentration in Contemplative Studies and the Department of Religious Studies.  This event is made possible by a generous grant from the Hershey Family Foundation and other donors.

"Freedom is a Constant Struggle," a lecture by Angela Davis.

February 10, 2017

Part of the Black Heritage Series.  Co-sponsored by Religious Studies. Please contact the Black Heritage Series for more information. 

"Identities Carved in Stone: Evidence of Lived Religion among Buddhist-Daoist Local Communities in China's Northern Dynasties," a lecture by Gil Raz, Dartmouth College

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
Smith Buonanno 201

 Sponsored by the Departments of Religious Studies, East Asian Studies, and History; and the Artifacts of Asia Lecture Series. 


"Re-con-naissance: The Cultural Birth," a lecture by Timo Helenius, Visiting Scholar, Religious Studies, Brown University.

Wednesday, March 2, 2017
Religious Studies Seminar Room (101) 

"Buddhism in Contemporary China," a lecture by Ven. Dr. Yifa, Woodenfish Foundation, Beijing.

Monday, March 20, 2017
Wilson 305

Co-sponsored by Contemplative Studies and Religious Studies.


Pulitzer Prize winning author, Marilynne Robinson '66 presents the 2017 K. Brooke Anderson Lecture: "Theology for this Moment" 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Salomon 001



Marilynne RobinsonMarilynne RobinsonMarilynne Robinson is the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, for "her grace and intelligence in writing." In 2016 she was awarded the Library of Congress Lifetime Achievement Award in American Fiction, as well as the Dayton Peace Prize's C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.  In 2013 she was awarded South Korea's Pak Kyong-ni Prize for her contribution to international literature.  She is the author of Lila, a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Gilead, winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Award.  Her first novel, Housekeeping, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.  Robinson's nonfiction books include The Giveness of Things, When I Was a Child I Read Books, Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, and Mother Country, which was nominated for a National Book Award.  She lives in Iowa City where she taught at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop for twenty-five years.

Sponsored by the K. Brooke Anderson Lectureship Fund, the Starr Lectureship Fund, the Office of the President, the Dean of the College, the Departments of Religious Studies, Comparative Literature and English, the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life, and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.

"Yorùbå Religion and Africana Freedom Struggles" a lecture by Babalawo Falokun Fasegun.

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Manning Chapel

Part of the Western Esoteric Studies capstone project.  Co-sponsored by Religious Studies. 


"Torture, Abuse and Desecration in the Name of Religion," a conference.

May 7-9, 2017
Petteruti Lounge, Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center

What constitutes torture, abuse and desecration, what role have they played in the history of religions, and what role do they play in contemporary religoius contexts? How have torture, abuse and desecration shaped religious discourse and how have such actions been justified in the name of religion? These are but a few of the questions we seek to address in this interdisciplinary and comparative conference on religion's relationship to torture, abuse and desecration through time and space (from antiquity to the present and from Iceland to India).  The conference will have four sessions, each with three presentations.  Three sessions focus on historical periods, while the fourth is devoted to theorizing aspects of torture, abuse and desecration in the name of religion.

For more details, please click here