Visions of a Modern Buddhist Education for the World

May 9, 2017

Date: Tuesday, May 9th
Time: 7:45 - 9:00 PM
Location: DRBU Conference Room


How can Buddhist universities prepare students to meet the needs of a modern, globalized world? What can Buddhist higher education contribute to solving our pressing social and environmental problems? Buddhism has a long history of globalized educational centers going back to the great monastic universities like Nalanda dating from the third century B.C.E.  Modern Buddhist universities began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Japan, Korea and Thailand. In the mid-20th century to the present, new and transformed Buddhist educational institutions have developed to meet the needs of a modern, globalized society. In the midst of the present renaissance of Chinese Buddhism, six new Buddhist universities have been founded in Taiwan with different approaches to integrating Buddhist values into modern society. What can we learn about the most hopeful approaches for bringing the Dharma and the University together for the well being of the world?

Barbara E. Reed is Professor of Asian Studies and Religion at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She teaches courses on Buddhism, Buddhist social ethics, East Asian religions, Comparative Scriptures and Asian Popular Cultures. She did graduate work in Chinese philosophy at Taiwan Normal University and received a Ph.D. in East Asian Religions from the University of Iowa. This past fall she taught a course in Comparative Scripture at Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts while also doing research on the development of new Buddhist universities in Taiwan.