A Workshop on C.W. Huntington’s What I Don’t Know About Death: Reflections on Buddhism and Mortality
What might Religious Studies offer those facing the material reality of death, or other existential questions? What are the proper roles, or the obligations, of academic specialists in religion? How might the academic study of religion help us to live, or die?
The Buddhist Studies scholar C.W. (“Sandy”) Huntington—well known for his seminal work of Sanskrit translation and philosophical interpretation, The Emptiness of Emptiness—was writing a manuscript about a Buddhist approach to the meaning of death when he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The result is a deeply personal contemplation of the meaning of death in a Buddhist worldview, with philosophy and textual scholarship intertwined with moving autobiography.
Over the course of one evening and one full day of alternating speakers and discussion groups, participants will use Huntington’s work to center questions about the place of existential questions in the study of religion, the various roles and obligations of academic scholars of religion, and the meaningful pedagogical modes of religious studies. Participants will hear and respond to presentations on Buddhism, existential philosophy, and religious studies pedagogy.
Open to 25 graduate students with expertise in the study of religion. Accepted participants will receive a copy of C.W. Huntington’s book What I Don’t Know About Death: Reflections on Buddhism and Mortality.