U of T Scarborough hosts Buddhism conference

Inside Toronto, May 12, 2010

Toronto, Canada -- In yet another move towards enhancing diversity and cultural pluralism within the Canadian society, the University of Toronto in Scarborough has organized a two-day conference on Buddhism and Diaspora.

McGill University professor Victor Hori will present the lecture Western Buddhism: An Ethnic Religion on Friday, May 14, from 7 p. m. to 9 p.m.

His address is expected to tackle issues regarding whether Western Buddhism is as historically unique and as different from traditional Asian Buddhism as it claims to be. It will further ask what ideological assumptions motivate this vision of Western Buddhism as it is distinguished from Asian culture and Buddhist history.

"Much of the recent writing on contemporary Buddhism concerns the emerging development of Western Buddhism (also called American Buddhism, Modern Buddhism and New Buddhism)," Hori said in a press release.

History and Religious Studies lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, professor Will Tuladhar-Douglas will discuss "Diaspora Buddhists under a Scottish Nationalist Government."

This lecture takes place on Saturday, May 15, from 5 to 6 p. m. His address will examine the interactions between the devolved and now Scottish Nationalist government, new immigrant communities, and the second (or even third-generation) Anglo Buddhist communities of Scotland, exploring this adaptation of religion within this diaspora situation.

Both events are open to the public and there will be free shuttle buses offering free ride from U of T Saint George campus to the Scarborough campus and back after each lecture. Interested participants can book registration by emailing aep@utsc.utoronto.ca or by calling 416-208-4769.

Tung Lin Kok Yuen Perspectives on Buddhist Thought and Culture is one of the initiatives at U of T Scarborough campus that emphasize multiple perspectives in the study of Buddhist thought and culture, including linkages among history, literature, philosophy, religion, and the visual and performing arts.