Buddhist Studies: Dr. Oren Hanner will deliver an online lecture on Buddhist ethics and shared action

- through Henry Oudin

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Dr. Oren Hanner, visiting assistant professor of philosophy at New York University Abu Dhabi and researcher at the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg, will give a live lecture on March 12 on the theme “Towards a Buddhist theory of shared agency.

Dr. Hanner's public lecture, which will be hosted by the Buddha-Dharma Center of Hong Kong (BDCHK), a postgraduate research institute and center for Buddhist studies, can be followed online via Zoom or in person at the BDCHK premises at the Pacific Place building in downtown Hong Kong.

“Contemporary studies of Buddhist ethics, particularly work motivated by the vision of engaged Buddhism, have repeatedly attempted to reconstruct Buddhist responses to modern ethical problems. Some of these questions are collective and political in nature; for example, how Buddhist teachings can inspire environmental activism or provide principles for a just society,” BDCHK explained in a statement shared with BDG.

“(This next) conference will seek to introduce a theoretical foundation of Buddhist ethics in a social context by considering the issue of shared responsibility; that is, the responsibility that individual agents bear for actions taken with other individuals. This narrative of shared action and responsibility will be reconstructed from three vignettes taken from Vasubandhu's work on action and its results in his Abhidharmakośabhāṣya (Treasure of Metaphysics) and Vimśatika (Twenty verses) as well as overviews of Buddhist narrative literature.

Dr. Oren Hanner. Image courtesy of BDCHK

Dr. Hanner's scholarly work focuses on the history of Indian and Buddhist philosophy, ethics and action theory, and cross-cultural philosophy. His edited volume Buddhism and skepticism: historical, philosophical and comparative perspectives (Hamburg Buddha Studies Series 13, Projekt Verlag, 2020) examines the place and role of skeptical thinking in Buddhist philosophy from Buddhist and cross-cultural perspectives. Dr. Hanner's current research interests include the meaning of life, collective action, and justice in Buddhism.

“Having examined the motivations of Buddhist authors for considering the problem of shared action and responsibility, I will present an analysis of the conditions required for shared actions according to Vasubandhu, relating them to his broader view of action, and propose that his theory offers Western solutions. Debates over shared agency provide new perspectives on this issue, including a more elaborate notion of shared agency and an internalist standard of moral evaluation,” Dr. Hanner said of his upcoming lecture.

Dr. Hanner's public lecture, “Toward a Buddhist Theory of Shared Action,” will be conducted in English and broadcast live at the following times:

Auckland: 00h, Wednesday March 13
Canberra: 22 p.m., Tuesday March 12
Seoul, Tokyo: 20 p.m., Tuesday March 12
Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei: 19 p.m., Tuesday March 12
Bangkok, Jakarta: 18 p.m., Tuesday March 12
New Delhi: 16:30 p.m., Tuesday March 12
Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm: 12 p.m., Tuesday March 12
London: 11 p.m., Tuesday March 12
Montreal, New York: 7 p.m., Tuesday March 12
Los Angeles, Vancouver: 4 p.m., Tuesday March 12

Click here for full details and to register

Established in 2012, the Buddha-Dharma Center of Hong Kong is a registered charitable institution in Hong Kong which works to promote the integration of Buddhist studies and Dharma practice, framed by the doctrine of the five spiritual faculties: faith, vigor, mindfulness, balance. , and wisdom. As part of this broad mandate, BDCHK promotes the study and research of Buddhism by offering academic courses, published articles and volumes, as well as regular seminars, lectures and conferences.

BDCHK's academic programs, open to international lay and monastic students, include: Diploma in Pali and Buddhist Studies; Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies; Master of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies; and Doctor of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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