Moment of Zen: Buddhist Teachings for Turbulent Times

What is Zen? This school of Buddhist thought is often used as shorthand to mean anything calm or meditative. The hashtag #museummomentofzen has been trending over the last few months. Philosophers, artists, and popular culture have absorbed Zen as a…
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What is Zen? This school of Buddhist thought is often used as shorthand to mean anything calm or meditative. The hashtag #museummomentofzen has been trending over the last few months. Philosophers, artists, and popular culture have absorbed Zen as a stereotype for East Asian art and design. But what are the basic principles of Zen, when did it originate, and why is it relevant today? Is there a “culturally authentic” interpretation of Zen? In these turbulent times, what can Zen traditions teach us? Join American Zen priestess angel Kyodo williams and art historian Yukio Lippit of Harvard University for a conversation about Buddhism, spirituality, and engagement with the world.

Rev. angel Kyodo williams is a Black, mixed-raced woman Zen priest who defies and transcends any title, descriptor, or category you can imagine. Freed from ordinary ways of naming, she captures imaginations, expands visions, and gets straight to the heart of the work of liberation. She is the author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation.

Yukio Lippit is Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. His research and teaching interests center around Japanese painting of the medieval (1200-1600) and early modern eras (1600-1868), as well as the history of Japanese architecture. He is the author of many books and articles, including Japanese Zen Buddhism and the Impossible Painting.

Frank Feltens is the Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at the Freer and Sackler. He is a specialist in Japanese art with a focus on the late medieval and early modern periods, including Japanese photography and the intersections between painting and ceramics. He is the curator of the exhibition Hokusai: Mad about Painting.

This event is made possible through generous support from the Lilly Foundation Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative.

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