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Varieties of Modern Buddhism

Dr. Ian Harris will give a free public lecture on February 8, 2012 at 7pm in AA 160.

The Department of Humanities, in partnership with Tung Lin Kok Yuen will host an informative lecture and discussion by Dr. Ian Harris entitled Varieties of Modern Buddhism as part of the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Perspectives on Buddhist Thought and Culture series.

The public lecture given by Dr. Harris will examine how the practice of Buddhism has profoundly changed in the modern era. Since the middle of the 19th century, the cultures of Buddhist Asia have experienced major transformation as a result of colonialism, nationalism, communism, the erosion of old political certainties, and new forms of economic production. By focusing on Burma, China, India, Tibet, and Vietnam, as well as Buddhist developments in the West, this illustrated lecture will trace the most significant moments in the modernization of Buddhism. It will also attempt to determine whether, taken as a whole, Buddhism continues to flourish or whether it is in a state of decline.

Dr. Ian Harris is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cumbria. His current research interests focus on the modern and contemporary history of Cambodia, Buddhism and politics in Southeast Asia; Buddhist environmentalism; and landscape aesthetics. Dr. Harris has held previous visiting professor positions at the University of Oxford, the University of British Columbia, the National University of Singapore, and the Documentary Center of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. His most recent books are Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice and Buddhism Under Pol Pot.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 7:00pm in AA 160. Admission is free and members of the general public are welcome to attend. There is also a free shuttle bus service that will leave downtown from Hart House Circle at 5:30 pm and will return downtown following the lecture.

For more information or to RSVP for the lecture and/or the bus, please contact Arts & Events Programming at (416) 208 4769 or at

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