Gereon Kopf

The Northern Lights Confucius Institute and the Institute of Philosophy present

Fazang, Non-dualism, Mutai: thinking about cosmopolitanism from a Huayan perspective

A lecture by professor Gereon Kopf.

Askja 130, March 16th from 3:00-4:15 pm

Many theories of multiculturalism, religious pluralism, and cosmopolitanism fail because of the limitations inherent in the essentialist paradigm they are based on. This paper suggests a new philosophical paradigm based on the non-essentialism of Fazang and Risaku Mutai. This new paradigm will enable us to conceive of cultural and religious identity without falling into identity politics or exclusivistic rhetoric.

Gereon Kopf received his Ph.D. from Temple University and is currently professor of East Asian religions and philosophy of religion at Luther College. As a research fellow of the Japan Foundation and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, he conducted research in 1993 and 1994 at Obirin University in Machida, Japan, and at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture in Nagoya, Japan, from 2002 to 2004.  In the academic year of 2008-2009, he taught at the Centre of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong. 2013-2014, he was a visiting lecturer at Saitama University and a Visiting researcher at Toyo University. He is the author of Beyond Personal Identity (2001), the co-editor of Merleau-Ponty and Buddhism (2009), the editor of the Dao Companion of Japanese Buddhist Philosophy (Springer 2016/2017), and the editor of the Journal of Buddhist Philosophy.