Zen Buddhism and Philosophy

Bret W. Davis in conversation with Leah Kalmanson

In this conversation with Leah Kalmanson, Bret W. Davis will introduce key aspects of the philosophy and practice of Zen Buddhism. He will draw out the philosophical implications of Zen teachings and koans, as well as meditation and other practices, often by way of comparing and contrasting these with other Asian as well as Western religions and philosophies. Addressing such philosophical topics as the self, nature, art, morality, and language, along with basic Buddhist teachings such as the middle way, karma, egolessness, rebirth, and nirvana, Davis will relate traditional Zen teachings and practices to our twenty-first century lives.

Bret W. Davis is Professor and T. J. Higgins, S.J. Chair in Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland. His authored and edited books include, among others, Heidegger and the Will: On the Way to Gelassenheit (2007), Japanese and Continental Philosophy: Conversations with the Kyoto School (2011), and The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Philosophy (2020). His latest book Zen Pathways: An Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of Zen Buddhism was published in December of 2021 by Oxford University Press.

Leah Kalmanson is an Associate Professor and the Bhagwan Adinath Professor of Jain Studies at the University of North Texas. She works at the intersection of comparative philosophy and postcolonial theory, with special interests in the liberational philosophies of China's Song dynasty and related discourses on issues of cultivation and transformation in philosophy more broadly, both personal and socio-political. She is the author of Cross-Cultural Existentialism (2020) and co-author (with Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach) of A Practical Guide to World Philosophies (2021).

Tuesday 31st May

7pm (UK time)/2pm (EST)