Thursday, April 8, 2021 | 2:00PM - 3:30PM (PDT) | Zoom Webinar

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America's Racial Karma

As part of the 2020-21 EASC Guest Speaker Series, USC Assistant Professor of Religion, Jessica Zu has invited Dr. Larry Ward, co-founder of The Lotus Institute and author of America’s Racial Karma: An Invitation to Heal.  This lecture will tie in Prof. Zu's REL 342: Buddhist Modernism. This course seeks to cover not only the common perception of Buddhism as psychological therapy, McMindfulness style of self-help, and part of the New Age Spirituality but also the less studied engaged Buddhism that sought to make Buddhism a civil religion.

Engaged Buddhism is an important branch of new Buddhist movements that emerged around the world in the mid-twentieth century. However, in America today, engaged Buddhists seem to have poised to become the leaders in using Buddhist spirituality to fight for social justice, to cure collective racial trauma, and to dismantle lasting structural oppressions. 

Please register for this webinar if you are interested in attending.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Larry Ward
Co-founder of The Lotus Institute and author of America’s Racial Karma: An Invitation to Heal
Dr. Ward is a senior teacher in Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village tradition. He brings twenty-five years of international experience in organizational change and local community renewal to his work as director of the Lotus Institute and as an advisor to the Executive Mind Leadership Institute at the Drucker School of Management. He holds a PhD in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Buddhism and the neuroscience of meditation. 

Jessica Zu
Assistant Professor of Religion, USC
Prof. Zu is a scholar of Buddhism. Her research focuses on the intellectual history and the socio-religious change in modern Asia from the overlooked perspectives of religious practitioners. More specifically, she uncovers unknown episodes and understudied historical actors that had paved the way to the modern afterlives of ancient Buddhist spiritual inclusiveness as a collective quest for social equality. Her research also illustrates how Asian intellectuals retooled Buddhist spiritual exercises into powerful critiques of scientism, social Darwinism, colonialism, and capitalism. 

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