Please see below for details of an international seminar in Cork (Ireland) on U Dhammaloka, one of the earliest western Buddhist monks. The event (launching a special issue of Contemporary Buddhism) includes Thomas Tweed, Elizabeth Harris, Brian Bocking, Alicia Turner and Laurence Cox discussing the life and significance of this remarkable figure - Irish hobo in America, Burmese monk, anti-missionary campaigner and international Buddhist organiser.
Full details of "Dhammaloka Day" are now available on the UCC website at http://www.ucc.ie/en/studyofreligions/dhammaloka-day/ with links to the draft programme, on-line registration (please register if you're hoping to come) and a short video introduction by Prof. Brian Bocking on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mUil5bVPsI
'Dhammaloka Day' celebrates the centenary of "The Irish Buddhist's" 1911 trial for sedition in colonial Burma. It is also the Irish launch of the special issue of the journal Contemporary Buddhism (Vol. 11, no.2, 2010) on the remarkable and unjustly forgotten figure of U Dhammaloka, a Dublin-born vagrant worker who crossed the world to become one of the first western Buddhist monks in Asia.
Autodidact, atheist, temperance campaigner and Buddhist revivalist, Dhammaloka was supported in Japan by Letitia Jephson of Mallow, denounced in Singapore by journalist Edward Alexander Morphy of Killarney and tried for sedition in Burma by Justice Daniel H. R. Twomey of Carrigtwohill.
Famous throughout South-East Asia in his time, Dhammaloka travelled extensively between 1900-1914 in colonial Burma, Siam, Singapore, Malaya, Japan, China, Ceylon, India and Nepal and other places.
This unique event features an international line-up of scholars of Buddhism including Prof. Thomas Tweed from Austin, Texas (author of The American Encounter with Buddhism), Dr Alicia Turner from Toronto (editor of the Journal of Burma Studies), Dr Elizabeth Harris from Liverpool (author of Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter), Dr Laurence Cox from Maynooth (co-editor of Ireland's new religious movements) and Prof. Brian Bocking from Cork (chair of Ireland's first department of the study of religions).
The provisional programme for the day is:
2 pm: Arrival, Tea and coffee
2.30: Welcome: Introducing Dhammaloka (Brian Bocking, Study of Religions Dept., UCC)
2.45: Dhammaloka, "The Irish Pongyi" in colonial Burma (Alicia Turner, Religious Studies, York University Toronto)
3.15: Dhammaloka - atheist, activist, Irish Buddhist (Laurence Cox, Sociology, NUI Maynooth)
3.45: Response: Ananda Metteyya and U Dhammaloka (Elizabeth Harris, Theology and Religious Studies, Liverpool Hope)
4.00 tea / coffee break -
4.30: Dhammaloka's Irish connections: Letitia Jephson, Edward Morphy, Daniel Twomey (Brian Bocking)
5.00: Dhammaloka in context: globalising Buddhism at the turn of the 20th century (Thomas Tweed, Religious Studies, North Texas University)
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