Zen Buddhism as Universalism: A Historical Reflection

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2016 Conrad Wright Lecture

James Ford • Friday, June 24, 2016 • during UUA General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio

The lecture was presented by James Ford, a UU Minister, serving as Interim Minister of the Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He formerly served congregations in Providence, Rhode Island; Newton, Massachusetts; Chandler, Arizona; and Mequon, Wisconsin.

Among other books, James Ford has published, This Very Moment: A Brief Introduction to Buddhism and Zen for Unitarian Universalists. He is a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest, who in this lecture will discuss the various encounters between Unitarians, Universalists and Buddhists starting from the middle of the nineteenth century. He will then show how these encounters shaped the theology of what has become Unitarian Universalism.

The UUHHS feels that James Ford’s presentation was an ideal match for the 2016 Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly (GA), which has a multi-faith theme. In previous years we have rotated our annual Conrad Wright Lecture to cities across the country. Holding this year’s Conrad Wright Lecture during the UUA General Assembly made the lecture available to a much wider audience.

The UU Buddhist Fellowship co-sponsored the lecture with us. The program was presented on Friday, June 24 at 4:45 p.m.

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