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Taitetsu Unno Memorial Lecture: Kenneth Tanaka
March 19 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Taitetsu Unno Memorial Lecture
Featuring Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka
Professor Emeritus, Musashino University, Tokyo
With generous support from the Unno family and in honor of the Seventh Cycle Memorial for Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno (1929-2014), the Institute of Buddhist Studies is pleased to announced the Taitetsu Unno Memorial lecture, to be held on Friday March 19, 2021 via Zoom webinar.
A prolific author and scholar, Rev. Dr. Unno was a graduate of the Univeristy of California, Berkeley, and Tokyo Univeristy. For forty years he taught in the field of Buddhist studies, first at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then at Smith College, where he served as Department Chair and as the Jill Ker Conway Professor of World Religions. He was the author, translator, and editor of numerous academic volumes and articles, but he is perhaps best known for his two works introducing Shin Buddhism to English-language audiences, River of Fire, River of Water: An Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin Buddhism and Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turned into Gold, as well as his translation Tannisho: A Shin Buddhist Classic. In addition to his prolific scholarly career, Rev. Dr. Unno was also an ordained Shin Buddhist minister in Nishi Honganji tradition, and he devoted his career to working in Shin Buddhist communities across North America.
In celebration of his life and accomplishments, IBS will honor Rev. Dr. Unno at this special event. Following the delivery of the Unno Memorial Lecture, a scholarship award will be made to a IBS student for outstanding work in a master’s level thesis.
The memorial lecture will be delivered by Dr. Kenneth Tanaka and titled: Revisioning Shin Buddhist Teachings for Today: Thirteen Contributors to a Book, The Tide of Wisdom: Shinran’s Wisdom, Authentic Individuality and Social Engagement.
Dr. Tanaka received his doctorate from the Univeristy of California, Berkeley, and served as a minister for the Buddhist Churches of America as well as Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at IBS before relocated to Japan where he held the position of Professor of Buddhist Studies at Musashino University, Tokyo, for over twenty years. He is past-president of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies and current Chairman of the Editorial Committee of the Chinese Buddhist Canon English Translation Project sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism (BDK). He was recently appointed Adjunct Researcher at the Hongwanji Comprehensive Research Center. His publications include The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine; Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in America; and most recently Jewels: An Introduction to American Buddhism for Youth, Scouts and the Young at Heart. His books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese. He is the 2017 recipient of the 27th Nakamura Hajime Eastern Study Prize, awarded to scholars who distinguish themselves in the field of Indian and Buddhist studies by the Eastern Institute and the Indian Embassy, Tokyo. In April 2018, he was the object of a one-hour NHK (National Broadcast Network, Japan) TV documentary in a series entitled “The Age of Kokoro (heart/mind).
This event is free and open to the public but registration is required.