Lecture by Parimal Patil, Harvard University, with response by Trina Janiec Jones, Wofford College
This talk comes at the end of a day-long symposium at Princeton University on the topic of “Translating Buddhist Philosophy for the Philosophy Curriculum,” focusing around a new English translation of the Twenty Verses and Exposition by the 4th/5th century Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu. Vasubandhu would surely have been thrilled to learn that centuries after the composition of his work, philosophers would choose to spend their time reading and thinking about his words, ideas, and arguments. He might well have been intrigued by the questions motivating the symposium’s engagement with his text: In what form, with what supporting material, and to what end could Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses and Exposition become a part of the curriculum in Euro-American style philosophy departments today, if at all? This talk will speak to this question by stepping back from Vasubandhu and his text to contemplate the broader project of whether, and if so how, to bring Buddhist philosophers and philosophical texts from classical India into our contemporary philosophy curriculum. It will address this question by evaluating the various ways Buddhist philosophy has been understood in modern scholarship, and by comparing modern philosophers' methods with those in traditional Buddhist scholastic texts.
This event is part of the Yin-Cheng Distinguished Lecture Series in Buddhist Studies.
Launched in September 2021, the Yin-Cheng Distinguished Lecture Series (印證佛學傑出學術系列講座) is a collaborative, multi-university partnership between Peking University, Columbia University, Princeton University, Harvard University, University of British Columbia, University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. The Lecture Series is established in honor of Venerable Cheng-yen 證嚴, founder of Tzu Chi, and her mentor Yinshun 印順 (1906–2005), with the goal of promoting topics in Buddhist studies.