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Philosophy Colloquium - "Philosophy of Crisis"

Jin Y. Park smiling
Friday, February 17, 2023
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Jin Y. Park, American University
Philosophy Colloquium Series

Please join the Philosophy Department for Dr. Jin Y. Park's talk on "Philosophy of Crisis." Dr. Park is chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University in Washington, D.C. Her research interests and expertise include Buddhist and intercultural philosophy; Buddhist ethics; modern East Asian social and political philosophy, women's philosophy; marginality.

Abstract: "Philosophy of Crisis"

The COVID-19 pandemic is said to be a once-in-a-century incident, and it brought us to a sense of crisis at various levels. COVID-19 is the name of a virus, but what the American society and the rest of the world experienced was not only a medical crisis or a public health crisis. The emergence of the virus immediately triggered a social and political crisis, revealing the bare face of perennial social problems such as racism, wealth inequality, and hate crimes. Experiences during the pandemic varied by individual, but there are also shared dimensions of what we collectively underwent during COVID-19. How should we describe the experience we went through? Was it in fact a crisis? What is a crisis? Can any unnerving moment or period be called a crisis, or are there different ways of understanding a crisis?

This presentation explores the meaning and nature of crisis, drawing on modern Korean political thinker Pak Ch'iu's (1909-1949) analysis of a crisis and feminist-Buddhist thinker Kim Iryŏp's (1896-1971) Buddhist philosophy. By doing so, this presentation considers what social, political, existential, and even religious meaning we can draw from our experience of the pandemic and what lessons, if any, we can learn from the sense of crisis the pandemic brought to human society.

A reception in the Philosophy lounge will follow the talk and discussion.

To learn more about Dr. Park, please see her website at

Contact: Rachel Gilbert