How Buddhism Changes the Conversation"
Dr. Kenneth Tanaka
Monday, March 18, 2013
9 am – 2:30 pm
The number of Buddhists in America has grown 17 fold since the 1960s to about 3.5 million. Many Jews and Christians find Buddhism attractive and, while there are many Western converts, there are others, such as monk Thomas Merton and Methodist John B. Cobb, Jr., who have found the encounter with Buddhism enriching and deepening their own faith. We shall explore what the traditions can learn from each other, toward building a peaceful world in the spirit of Dr. Hans Küng’s words, “There can be no world peace without peace among religions, and there can be no peace among religions without dialogue among religions.”
Cost: $40, includes lunch; additional $5 for CEU contact hours certificate
CEU contact hours: 4.5
First Session: "Meditation in Buddhism and Prayer in Judaism and Christianity: A Tip of the Iceberg for Divergences and Convergences"
It is estimated that in any given day in America, up to 20 million people engage in some form of meditation. We will explore the implications of this popularity to better understand the divergences and convergences found in the teachings, ethical action and practices among the three religions.
Second Session: "What Buddhists can Learn from Jews and Christians to be Better Buddhists, and Vice Versa"
Prof. John Cobb has spoken of “mutual transformation” as one of the outcomes of interfaith dialogue. It’s often said that Buddhists can learn more about social action from Jews and Christians, while they can learn more about inner spirituality from Buddhists. We shall explore this as well as other issues.
Third Session (after lunch): A Three-Way Conversation: Buddhist, Jewish, and Christian with Dr. Tanaka, Cantor Emeritus Bob Zalkin of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck (teaches meditation and has studied Buddhism), and Prof. Marti Steussy of CTS.
Kenneth K. Tanaka has a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and is Professor of Buddhist Studies at Musashino University in Tokyo. Among his books are Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in America, Dialogue with Others, and The Faces of Buddhism in America.
Co-sponsors: Jewish Community Relations Council