Special Lecture: Interreligious Learning: An Art, not Just a Science
Speaker: Dr. Francis X. Clooney, Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology at Harvard Divinity School
Coordinator: Dr. Koji Yamashiro, Project Researcher of the Division of Religion and Global Security at the RCAST of the University of Tokyo
Friday, March 4, 2022, 21:00-22:30 (Japan Time); 14:00-15:30(Israel Time)
* Venue: Zoom
* Language: English
* Registration: No charge. Advance registration required.
Please contact to: firstname.lastname@example.org
* This seminar is part of the "Israel Month @UTokyo Komaba Research Campus" and organized by the research project “Humanitas Futura: Constructing an International Research Network for the Study of Philosophy and Religion” at the Division of Religion and Global Security of the RCAST.
Learning interreligiously in the 21st century is an exciting though complex project. Crossing over from the familiar ground of one language, culture and religion to another language, culture and religion requires great learning, patience, and humility, and a precise grasp of necessary details. However, the disciplinary rigor must open into an empathetic and even aesthetic appreciation of the newly encountered ideas and images, philosophies and poetry, arts and ethical practices. This requires then the ability to learn to be at home in a new intellectual and spiritual space. One has to learn to see the new context as do its inhabitants and insiders, even while keeping a scholar’s critical distance. If faith is involved, then this empathetic learning creates further interesting challenges for one’s home community, since one’s awareness has expanded beyond most believers’ expectations. Professor Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, will illustrate these and related points with reference to his study of Hindu traditions over more than four decades, even as he has adhered to his own Catholic Christian faith intellectual, spiritually and in practice. Francis X. Clooney
, S.J., joined the Harvard Divinity School faculty in 2005, where he is the Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology. https://hds.harvard.edu/people/francis-x-clooney
After earning his doctorate in South Asian languages and civilizations (University of Chicago, 1984), he taught at Boston College for 21 years before coming to Harvard. From 2010 to 2017, he was the Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard.
His primary areas of Indological scholarship are theological commentarial writings in the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions of Hindu India. He is also a leading figure globally in the developing field of comparative theology, a discipline distinguished by attentiveness to the dynamics of theological learning deepened through the study of traditions other than one’s own. He has also written on the Jesuit missionary tradition, particularly in India, on the early Jesuit pan-Asian discourse on reincarnation, and on the dynamics of dialogue and interreligious learning in the contemporary world.
Clooney is the author of numerous articles and books, including Thinking Ritually: Retrieving the Purva Mimamsa of Jaimini (Vienna, 1990), Theology after Vedanta: An Experiment in Comparative Theology (State University of New York Press, 1993), Beyond Compare: St. Francis de Sales and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God (Georgetown University Press, 2008), The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Shrivaisnava Hindus (Peeters Publishing, 2008), Comparative Theology: Deep Learning across Religious Borders (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), and His Hiding Place Is Darkness: A Hindu-Catholic Theopoetics of Divine Absence (Stanford University Press, 2013).
Recent books include Reading the Hindu and Christian Classics: Why and How It Matters (University of Virgina Press, 2019) and Western Jesuit Scholars in India: Tracing Their Paths, Reassessing Their Goals (Brill, 2020). His translation of the Hindu theologian Ramanuja’s Manual of Daily Worship (Nityagrantham) appeared in the International Journal of Hindu Studies in 2020. He is currently beginning to write a memoir tentatively entitled, Priest and Scholar, Catholic and Hindu: A Love Story.
In July 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and has served as a Professorial Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University. His most recent honorary doctorate was awarded in November 2019 by Regis College, University of Toronto. He is currently President-Elect of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and will be President during 2022-23.
He is a Roman Catholic priest and has been a member of the Society of Jesus for 50 years. He serves regularly in a Catholic parish on weekends. From 2007 to 2016 he blogged regularly in the “In All Things” section of America magazine online; his current blog is The Inner Edge, where he recently completed a series of 62 online homilies written during the year of church closures during the pandemic.
Dr. Koji Yamashiro is Project Researcher of the Division of Religion and Global Security at the RCAST of the University of Tokyo. He is the curator and coordinator of the research project “Humanitas Futura: Constructing an International Research Network for the Study of Philosophy and Religion” based at the Division of Religion and Global Security of the RCAST.
* “Israel Month @UTokyo Komaba Research Campus” is organized by ROLES (RCAST Open Laboratory for Emergence Strategies) of the University of Tokyo and supported by the Embassy of Israel in Japan.
* Contact Information: Division of Religion and Global Security (Ikeuchi Laboratory) of RCAST, the University of Tokyo: office＠me.rcast.u-tokyo.ac.jp
ROLES (RCAST Open Laboratory for Emergence Strategies) of the University of Tokyo with the support of the Embassy of Israel in Japan, has organized “Israel Week” in 2021. The Year 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Japan. With great pleasure, this year’s "Israel Month @UTokyo Komaba Research Campus" event will feature a series of webinars on the latest trends and developments in Israel and their impact on Japan-Israel relations. The webinars in this framework will cover a broad range of topics, including recent developments in relation between Japan and Israel, Israel and the Arab countries, Greentech and climate change technologies, the impact of blockchain technology on policies, and how Earth Science grasps the global warming. A series of virtual seminars and lectures on Jewish thought and other religious traditions are to be held on this occasion inviting leading scholars from Israel.
"Israel Month” aims to provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas and inspiration from researchers and experts across different fields, and to seek opportunities for collaboration among the participants from academia, NPOs, industry, and the public sector.