skip navigation
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Humanism and Rationality: The Natures of Chinese Chan

September 14, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Dedong Wei
Director, International Center for Buddhist Studies, Renmin University
September 14, 1-3:00 pm
141 Park Hall, UB North Campus
Free and open to the public
Cosponsored by the UB Confucius Institute and Department of Philosophy

The Chan School originated from the meditation practices of India and developed into an independent sect in China in the 7th century CE. The true founder of this school is the Chinese Buddhist monk Master Huineng (638-713 CE). Later the Chan School spread to the Korean peninsula, Japan and Vietnam. A Chan Culture grew from this school and became a symbol of the East Asian culture. In the 20th century, D. T. Suzuki of Japan, Master Thich Nhat Hanh of Vietnam, and other Asian Monks brought the Chan culture to Europe, the United States and all over the world.

The core characteristics of the Chan School are twofold. First, humanism, whereby the Chan School returns to a human-centered religion which is the heart of Buddhism. Emphasis is placed on direct liberation during daily life. Second, rationality, whereby the Chan School advocates “the Buddha Dharma is right here in the world, there is no awakening apart from this world”. It opposes mechanical meditation, enlightenment through monastic life only, and blindly reciting sutras, among other things. It also advocates experiencing the truth of Buddhism and practicing how to become a Buddha through secular activities, such as walking, abiding, sitting, sleeping, along with daily labor activities such as collecting firewood and carrying water. The spirit of Chan today is a valuable resource inspiring humanity in the new millennium.


Dedong Wei, PhD, is Director of the International Center for Buddhist Studies, Renmin University of China, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Columbia University, and a scholar affiliated with the Think Tank of State Administration for Religious Affairs. Dr. Wei’s main areas of interest are Buddhism and Sociology of Religion. He serves as P.I. of the China Religion Survey at Renmin University of China (2011 to 2020). He founded the Annual Conference of Social Science of Religion and the SINO-US-EURO Summer Institutes on Religious Study in 2004, and the International Forum of Buddhism in 2011. He is author of numerous books and articles, including The Essence of Buddhist Yogacara Philosophy and three volumes of Dedong Review on Religion. Dr. Wei is also the founding editor of Series of Buddhist Translation, International Buddhist Studies, and Classical Translation of Sociology of Religion.


September 14, 2018
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


141 Park Hall
University at Buffalo North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260 United States