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Event Series Event Series: Professor Jan Willis 2024

The Buddha and Social Justice | Professor Jan Willis

April 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Hybrid Hybrid Event
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About this teaching
Our planet is in the midst of an historic transitional period, one that presents us with painful truths that are impossible to ignore. We are witnessing huge shifts in power on a geopolitical level, which we witness in the intensification of various conflicts around the world. In the West, the economic trend seems to be one of steady decline, characterised by broadening wealth inequality between rich and poor. Each younger generation reports a decrease in mental wellbeing compared to previous ones. And pervading all of this, the spectre of climate change and ecosystem collapse.

In many ways, the world today is profoundly different to the society the Buddha was born into. And yet, the same destructive mental states that the Buddha would argue are at the root of our current challenges, existed in people’s minds at the time of his teaching. In this context, what does a wisdom tradition, more than two thousand years old, have to teach us in response to this confluence of crises? Can the Buddha’s establishment of a monastic institution that included women and people of all castes, a countervailing force to the hierarchical society that he was born into, be instructive in the present moment?

We are deeply grateful that Professor Jan Willis has accepted our invitation to come to London and explore these questions with us. Drawing on her experience as a Buddhist practitioner and scholar, as well as an activist and advocate for inclusive Dharma communities, Professor Willis will help us think about how to approach Buddhist practice amidst social injustice.

About Professor Jan Willis
Jan Willis is Professor Emerita of Religion at Wesleyan University. A student of Lama Yeshe that grew up in Alabama during the era of segregation, she is the author of several books including Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist and Buddhist. Professor Willis was named one of six ‘spiritual innovators for the new millennium’ by TIME magazine, and one of Ebony magazine’s ‘Power 150’ most influential African Americans.

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April 24
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
See below for pricing
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