Why? Radio episode 87: "What does Buddhism Offer an African-American Woman?" with guest Ryan Balot
Subscribe to the Podcast
Ask a Question
Philosphy Is Everywhere
Question of the Week
Senior Citizen Philosophy Discussion Group
Eliot Glassheim Essay Award on Capitalism and the Public Good
Are We What We Eat?
Art & Democracy Film Series
On Second Thought Magazine
Links of Interest
Selected Press Coverage
"What does Buddhism Offer an African-American Woman?"
Originally broadcast: January 10, 2016
Jan Willis was raised in the Jim Crow south and had crosses burnt on her lawn when she received a scholarship for Cornell University. But her life didn’t just take her through the civil rights movement and the Ivy League, it also took her to India which led her to become a professor of Buddhism and a practicing Buddhist. How did her new religion fit with her Baptist upbringing? How does being a religious scholar relate to being a practitioner? Should we think of Buddhism as an “Eastern” religion with little to do with Western philosophy? On this next episode of Why?, we’ll ask these and other related questions, as we talk memoir, belief, and religious experience with a foremost scholar of Tibetan Buddhism.
Janice D. Willis is Emerita Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University. One of the earliest American scholar-practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, Willis has published numerous essays and articles on Buddhist meditation, hagiography, women and Buddhism, and Buddhism and race. She has studied with Tibetan Buddhists in India, Nepal, Switzerland and the U.S. for four decades, and has taught courses in Buddhism for 32 years. In December 2000, “Time” magazine named Willis one of six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium.” In 2003, she was a recipient of Wesleyan University’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and she was profiled in a 2005 “Newsweek” article about “Spirituality in America.”
The text of this episode's monologue can be found
at our blog, PQED.
Please share your thoughts on this episode with other listeners:
Buy the books mentioned in this episode:
Jan Willis at Amazon Books
If you use the links for Amazon purchases then The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life gets a small donation without changing your purchase price.
New to the show or want to revisit old episodes?
for our complete archive. Every show is available!
Or just start with one of these fan favorites. You'll love them!
(And, if you have a favoite that you think should be on the list, let us know.)
Clay Jenkinson interviews Jack Russell Weinstein "The Public Philosophy Experiment"
Hal Herzog "Love, Hate or Eat: How Humans Relate to Animals"
Mary Jo Bang "The Philosophy of Poetry"
Tony Kushner "A Conversation with a Playwrite"
Carol Gilligan "In a Different Voice and After"
©2015 Jack Russell Weinstein - Grand Forks, ND