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“Why Study Buddhism in a Liberal Arts Education?” (Jane Marie Law, Cornell University)

Friday, October 30, 2020 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Virtual Event

Please join us for a virtual talk by Jane Marie Law, Associate Professor of Asian Studies here at Cornell University.

Professor Law's research explores the interface between living communities and religious ideologies and praxis, with fieldwork as a core methodology. Her early work focused on the ritual uses of human effigies in Japan, and explored how puppetry represents a kind of ritual logic. From this work, she became interested in issues of cultural memory and memorialization of atrocity. Recently, she has turned her attention to how religious communities participate in debates and actions concerning ecological healing or degradation, and movements toward or away from sustainable living. Her current writing explores the activities of marginal intentional religious communities presenting models of transition to ecologically sustainable living. The questions she is exploring are wide reaching, allowing a variety of cases and questions to be explored in her work: What ecological knowledge is the particular community protecting and developing? What religious ideas, ideologies and epistemologies are being employed to explain the reasons for the protection and development? Do these communities use this ecological knowledge and lens as an outreach to their broader lay religious contexts? Do these communities employ any languages of morality or ethics to enhance their conservation and protection? How do they translate what they are doing to a wider audience outside their religious communities? In the end, do these intentional communities have answers to questions of survival (food security, models of communal living, habitat conservation and resource management) that have not been adequately explored? In her research, she is committed to developing methodologies that enable scholars and communities to work together to find answers to shared questions.

This event is funded by the GPSA and generously co-sponsored by the Department of Asian Studies, the Department of Religious Studies, the South Asia Program and the Southeast Asia Program. All are welcome to attend; please register through CampusGroups to receive the Zoom link.

Dial-In Information

Please register through CampusGroups here:

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Event Type



Asian Studies, East Asia Program, Southeast Asia Program, South Asia Program

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Bruno Marshall Shirley


Jane-Marie Law

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Asian Studies & Religious Studies Program

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