The following four short essays sprung from separate conversations that Russell McCutcheon and I were having the day after the events of September 11. We found that nearly everyone we spoke to in our field was forced to grapple with these events in the context of their courses, as we ourselves did. These essays represent a small sampling of “a day in the life” of religious studies faculty after the recent tragedies. Rest assured, the CSSR Bulletin will continue to publish material that brings the tools of our discipline to bear upon current affairs as they play out over the coming months.
TERROR AND VIOLENCE THROUGH BUDDHIST LENSES
Stephen C. Berkwitz
Does a course in Buddhism have anything to contribute to an understanding of the tragic events on September 11, 2001 and their aftermath? I think it can, but not just by using Buddhist doctrines of “suffering” and interdependence to “make sense” of what occurred or console those who grieve. There had already been enough sermons delivered by politicians and newscasters for me to offer another one when I stood before my Buddhism class on September 12. Instead, it struck me more pedagogically useful to compare possible “Buddhist” responses to the tragedy to those currently being made in America.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.