Northwestern Events Calendar


What is Buddhist Law and Why Does It Matter?

When: Friday, November 30, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central

Where: Scott Hall, Guild Lounge, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Dylan Peterson   (847) 467-2770

Group: Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


Contrary to popular stereotypes, Buddhism does have its own system of religious law, similar to shariah or Halakah or canon law. Moreover, Buddhist law plays an influential role in the history, politics and religious dynamics of South and Southeast Asia, particularly today. Benjamin Schonthal (Global Politics and Religion Visiting Scholar) will explain what Buddhist law is and why you should care about it, while also offering a general overview of his most recent research on Buddhist law in Sri Lanka. Don’t worry, though, if you have no background in Buddhism, Asia or law! This talk is designed especially with nonspecialists in mind with the goal of encouraging cross-disciplinary and cross-regional conversations.

Benjamin Schonthal is an Associate Professor of Buddhism and Asian Religions and Associate Dean (International) for the Humanities Division at the University of Otago in New Zealand and received his Ph.D. in the field of History of Religions at the University of Chicago.  His work appears in The Journal of Asian Studies, Modern Asian Studies, the International Journal of Constitutional Law and other places. Ben's first book, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law, appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2016.

The Buffett Institute Faculty & Fellows Colloquium brings together an interdisciplinary audience to build awareness of global research on campus. This series promotes dialogue on scholarship and develops a deeper sense of community among Buffett Institute affiliates. Each meeting lasts one hour; lunch is provided. 

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