Buddhism and Youth: A Symposium

University of British Columbia • November 4, 2017

There are Buddhist monastic rules, stories, and teachings that directly address those of lesser years and the issues that are thought to be unique to their stage of life. And Buddhist individuals and groups have created literature, activities, and organizations for boys, girls, and young people in general. Although young people have appeared throughout Buddhist history, Buddhists have engaged most intensively with the category of youth and young people during the modern and contemporary periods. This symposium is a chance to explore this theme and learn together.

Participants: Susie Andrews, Mount Allison University; Kimberley Beek, McMaster University; Casey Collins, University of British Columbia; Melissa Curley, Ohio State University; Natasha Heller, University of Virginia; Raymond Lam, Buddhistdoor Global; Jessica Main, University of British Columbia; Vanessa Sasson, Marianopolis College; Justin Stein, University of Toronto; Joanne Yuasa, Vancouver Buddhist Temple.

This symposium is the 7th Annual Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation Conference, and it is hosted by UBC’s Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society.

The symposium is open to interested students, faculty, and members of the public. Lunch, dinner, and refreshments will be provided to attendees; the registration fee is $35 for faculty and local participants (the fee will be waived for undergraduate and graduate students).

Email [email protected] to register.

Venue: St. John’s College
2111 Lower Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4

Workshop: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Session 1: Literary Adventures

  • (Chair and Moderator: Natasha Heller, University of Virginia)
  • Susie Andrews, Mount Allison University
  • Kimberley Beek, McMaster University
  • Melissa Anne-Marie Curley, Ohio State University
  • Vanessa Sasson, Marianopolis College

<lunch break>

Session 2: Organizing the Youth

  • (Chair and Moderator: Jessica L. Main, University of British Columbia)
  • Raymond Lam, Buddhistdoor Global
  • Justin Stein, Bukkyō University
  • Jessica L. Main, University of British Columbia
  • Joanne Yuasa, Vancouver Buddhist Temple
  • Casey Collins, University of British Columbia

<dinner break>

Keynote Address: 6:30 – 8:00 pm 

Professor Natasha Heller(University of Virginia) “How to Read a Buddhist Picture Book (if you are not a kid)”

The Buddhist picture book is a uniquely late 20th – early 21st century artifact, as much product of global social and cultural forces as part of Buddhist literature.  Taking one Taiwanese children’s book as a case study, this talk will offer a close reading, from front cover to back cover, to show the different discourses—historical and contemporary, religious and secular—at play.

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