Conference on Buddhism in Singapore

By Yen Feng, The Straits Times, Feb 6, 2009

Singapore -- AN UPCOMING conference here on Buddhism will gather some of the world's most eminent scholars on the religion to discuss its growing relevance amid religious strifes in the world today.

At a press conference at the Institute of South-east Asian Studies (Iseas) on Thursday, director K Kesavapany said that the 'angry intercourse' among different religions today has made this subject particularly relevant.

He added that Singapore is 'perfectly situated' to host the event given the majority of Buddhists in East Asia.

Without giving specific numbers, he said: 'Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the world. It's an interesting trend to look at.'

So far, 54 research papers have been accepted for the conference, written by scholars from as far as the United States, Italy and Iran.

Topics include 'Rethinking the Buddhist Interactions between India and China', 'Negotiating Co-existence: A study of Inter-religious Dynamics in the Bodhgaya Region', and 'Buddhism in Iran and a Focus on Honameh, as a Possible Buddhist Temple'.

The spotlight of the conference will be on Dr Amartya Sen, a Nobel Laureate professer renowned for his work on poverty and developmental economics.

He will be delivering a keynote address titled 'Buddha and the Modern World' on the last day of the conference.

The three-day conference, to be held from Feb 16 to 18, is organised by the Institute of South-east Asian Studies (Iseas) and funded by the Singapore Buddhist Lodge.

More information can be found at