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Spreading Indra’s Net: D. T. Suzuki’s Columbia University Seminars

Event title and speaker name; picture of the professor smiling
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Thursday, October 28, 2021
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5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Richard Jaffe (Religious Studies, Duke)
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Japan Forum

This is the first event in the 2021-22 Japan Forum series.

D. T. Suzuki's Columbia University seminars and their influence on numerous members of the New York intelligentsia in the 1950s are often mentioned in histories of the era. Until very recently, however, little was known about the content of Suzuki's seminars, which took place from 1952-1957. The release of manuscripts of Suzuki's lectures, however, offer us a detailed look at the seminars for the first time. In this talk I will summarize my work editing Suzuki's lecture manuscript from 1952-1953, while discussing Suzuki's presentation of Buddhism, the audience at the seminars, and the supporting factors that made the ongoing lectures possible.

About the speaker:
Richard Jaffe is a professor of Religious Studies at Duke University and director of the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke. He is a pioneer in the study of Japanese Buddhism from the Meiji period through the end of World War II (roughly 1868-1945). His recent publications include "Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism" (Buddhism and Modernity, 2019) and an edited volume, "Selected Works of D. T. Suzuki, Zen Works" (University of California Press, 2014). A highly regarded teacher, Professor Jaffe has inaugurated a variety of courses at Duke on Buddhism and related topics.