David R. Loy addresses head-on the most pressing issues of Buddhist philosophy in our time.

What is the meaning of enlightenment—is it an escape from the world, or is it a form of psychological healing?
How can one reconcile modern scientific theory with ancient religious teachings?
What is our role in the universe?

Loy shows us that neither Buddhism nor secular society by itself is sufficient to answer these questions. Instead, he investigates the unexpected intersections of the two. Through this exchange, he uncovers a new Buddhist way, one that is faithful to the important traditions of Buddhism but compatible with modernity. This way, we can see the world as it is truly is, realize our indivisibility from it, and learn that the world’s problems are our problems. This is a new path for a new world.

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Why Buddhism and the Modern World Need Each Other

The highest ideal of the modern West has been social transformation: to restructure our societies so that they are more just. The most important goal for Buddhism is to awaken (the Buddha means “the Awakened”): personal transformation. Dr. David Loy explores how we need both, not just because these ideals complement each other, but because each project needs the other if it is to be successful.

Dr. David Loy is a writer, scholar, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. Dr. Loy’s recent research has focused upon the encounter between Buddhism and modernity, exhibiting special concern regarding social and ecological issues.

Learn more about Harvard Divinity School and its mission to illuminate, engage, and serve at http://www.hds.harvard.edu.

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