Malcolm David Eckel on “Learning from Bhavaviveka”

The Center for Ethics of Science and Technology, Chulalongkorn University, will organize a public talk by Malcolm David Eckel from Boston University on “Learning from Bhavaviveka: A Sixth-Century Buddhist Rationalist” at Room 608, Boromratchakumari Bldg., Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, 1 – 3 pm, Friday, December 26, 2008.

All are welcome.


The following is some biodata of David Eckel from Wikipedia:

Malcolm David Eckel is the current Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. He earned two bachelors degrees: one in English at Harvard University and another in Theology at Oxford University. Eckel received his masters in Theology at Oxford and his PhD at Harvard in Comparative Religion.

Eckel has held positions at Ohio Wesleyan University, Middlebury College in Vermont, and later at the Harvard Divinity School as the Acting Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions. He now teaches courses specializing in eastern religions. Eckel is also the head of Boston University’s Core Curriculum, a groundbreaking program for the development of the humanities. The Core Curriculum challenges its students with a rigorous course load while allowing students to explore the multifarious concepts of worldly philosophies.

The Metcalf Award for Teaching Excellence, Boston University’s highest award for teaching, was awarded to Eckel in 1998.

He is currently the director of The Institute for Philosophy and Religion Lecture Series, an educational forum on various philosophical and religious ideas and their application in contemporary society.

Among his publications are To See the Buddha: A Philosopher’s Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness (1994); Buddhism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places (2002); and Jnanagarbha’s Commentary on the Distinction Between the Two Truths (1987).


Here is the abstract of the talk on the 26th:

Bhavaviveka (ca 500-560 CE) lived in a time of unusual ferment in the history of Indian Buddhist thought.  The Mahayana was developing as a vigorous and self-conscious intellectual force, while the traditions of the eighteen schools (nikaya) continued to resist the innovations of the Mahayana.  Bhaviveka’s “Verses on the Heart of the Middle Way,” along with their commentary, give a detailed and lively account of the controversies that shaped Buddhist thought in this period.  They illuminate aspects of Buddhist thought that, until now, have been poorly understood, and they challenge us to think of Buddhist philosophy in innovative ways.

(For further info about his book on “To See the Buddha” please visit the following blog post – )


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