12th Garfield Forum: "Buddhism and Violence"
The 12th Garfield Forum will focus on three dimensions of the problem of Buddhism and violence: a philosophical consideration of the relation between belief statements and their behavioral observance; the recent rise of Buddhist monastic militancy in Sri Lanka and Myanmar; and the repercussions of the recent coup and its violent aftermath in Myanmar for inter-communal relations and identities.
This forum is made possible with the generous additional support of the T. T. & W. F. Chao Buddhist Studies Fund at The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies.
Dan Arnorld is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His first book – Buddhists, Brahmins, and Belief: Epistemology in South Asian Philosophy of Religions (Columbia University Press, 2005) – won an American Academy of Religion Book Award. His second, Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind (Columbia, 2012), was awarded the Numata Book Prize in Buddhism. His forthcoming anthology of original translations of Indian Madhyamaka texts is to be published by Columbia University Press in the series “Historical Sourcebooks in Classical Indian Thought.”
John Clifford Holt is Visiting Professor of Theravada Buddhism at the University of Chicago. He has published Discipline: the Canonical Buddhism of the Vinayapitaka (Motilal Banarsidass, 1981); Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka (Oxford, 1991), for which he received the American Academy Book Award for Excellence; The Religious World of Kirti Sri: Buddhist Art and Politics in Late Medieval Sri Lanka (Oxford, 1996); The Buddhist Visnu (Columbia, 2004); Spirits of the Place: Buddhism and Lao Religious Culture (Hawai’i, 2009); Theravada Traditions: Buddhist Ritual Cultures in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka (Hawai’i, 2017); and Myanmar’s Buddhist-Muslim Crisis: Rohingya, Arakanese, and Burmese Narratives of Siege and Fear (Hawai’i, 2019). Among his eight edited books are The Sri Lanka Reader: History, Politics and Culture (Duke, 2011) and Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities: Religious Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka (Oxford, 2016). He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Peradeniya in 2002, and was selected as University of Chicago Divinity School Alumnus of the Year in 2007. He has received senior research fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, Guggenheim Foundation, Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, American Council of Learned Societies, Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Program. He served Bowdoin College as a named Professor of Humanities in Religion and Asian Studies, and has served as visiting professor at the University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Calgary, and University of California, Berkeley.
Alicia Turner is Associate Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at York University in Toronto. She is interested in the intersections of religion, colonialism, secularism and nationalism in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Buddhism in Burma (Myanmar) over the past 150 years. She is the author of Saving Buddhism: The Impermanence of Religion in Colonial Burma (Hawai'i 2014) and co-author of The Irish Buddhist (OUP 2020) with Laurence Cox and Brian Bocking. She is currently finishing a book on the genealogy of religious difference and conflict in Burma Myanmar.