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2013 International Buddhist-Christian Conference
Enlightenment and Liberation: Engaged Buddhists and Liberation Theologians in Dialogue

Wed, 17 Apr, 2013 - Sat, 20 Apr, 2013

Sponsored by

Great Seon Master Jinje, Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism

Union Theological Seminary

Enlightenment and Liberation

Enlightenment and Liberation

This international conference promises to be of historic uniqueness and importance.  It brings together Buddhist and Christian activists and scholars from around the world to discuss the unnecessary sufferings that afflict persons and planet today.

If widespread suffering, due to what Buddhists call greed and Christians call injustice, can serve as a common ground for dialogue, what are the similarities and differences in the ways Buddhists and Christians diagnose and seek to remedy these problems? What can they learn from each other and how can they collaborate in their common goal of ending suffering?

The conference will also provide the occasion for final farewells to Dr. Paul F. Knitter, Union Theological Seminary’s Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture. Dr. Knitter will be moving on to retirement in June..

Please Note: You only need to register once to attend this event. 

General Registration Fee: $300

Student Registration Fee: $150

Union Student Registration: No Fee

Full conference registrations are limited by venue size to the first 270 registered participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment.

Registration includes six meals (Thursday through Saturday) except breakfast. Lodging is not included. For information on nearby accommodations, click here>>

Student Scholarship Application: A limited number of scholarships for registration will be available for students. To apply for a scholarship, please write a 100 word statement explaining how this conference is relevant to your study and why you want to attend, and send it to Mr. Kyeongil Jung at jungkyeongil@gmail.com by noon on February 28, 2013.


Confirmed Participants:


  • A.T. Ariyaratne, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Sri Lanka
  • Somboon Chungprampree, International Network of Engaged Buddhists, Thailand
  • Ven. Dobup, Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Korea
  • Bernie Glassman, Zen Peacemakers, U.S.
  • Rita M. Gross, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, U.S.
  • Ruben Habito, Southern Methodist University, U.S.*
  • Ven. Jijung, International School of Buddhist Studies, Korea
  • Ouyporn Khuankaew, International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice, Thailand
  • Sallie B. King, James Madison University, U.S.*
  • David R. Loy, Independent Scholar and Zen Teacher, U.S.
  • John Makransky, Boston College, U.S.
  • Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo, U.S.
  • Ven. Pomnyun, Jungto Society, Korea
  • Sulak Sivaraksa, International Network of Engaged Buddhists, Thailand
  • Robert Thurman, Columbia University, U.S.
  • Jan Willis, Wesleyan University, U.S.*


  • Nancy Cardoso, Latin American Biblical University, Brazil/Costa Rica
  • Chung Hyun Kyung, Union Theological Seminary, U.S./Korea*
  • Ulrich Duchrow, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Ivone Gebara, Sisters of Our Lady/Visiting Professor different Faculties, Brazil
  • Roger Haight, Union Theological Seminary
  • Melanie Harris, Texas Christian University, U.S.
  • Kim Yong-Bock, Asia Pacific Graduate School for Integral Study of Life, Korea
  • Paul F. Knitter, Union Theological Seminary, U.S.*
  • Gustavo Gutierrez, University of Notre Dame, U.S./Peru
  • Mary John Mananzan, Missionary Benedictine Sisters, The Philippines
  • Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Trinity Theological Seminary, Ghana
  • Larry Rasmussen, Union Theological Seminary, U.S.
  • Joerg Rieger, Southern Methodist University, U.S.
  • Rosemary Radford Ruether, Pacific School of Religion and the GTU, U.S.
  • Jung Mo Sung, Methodist University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • John Thatamanil, Union Theological Seminary, U.S.
  • Jose Maria Vigil, The Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians, Panama
  • Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary, U.S.
  • Wilfred Felix, Asian Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies, India

* Double-Belonger

Schedule of Events

April 17, Wednesday

Special Evening Event 1: “Listening to Our Elders: Enlightenment and Liberation”
James Memorial Chapel, 7:00 p.m.
Gustavo Gutierrez, Cornel West, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Sulak Sivaraksa, Bernie Glassman, A.T. Ariyaratne, Paul Knitter

April 18, Thursday

Zen Meditation
Social Hall, 7:00 a.m.
Chung Hyun Kyung

Opening Ceremony
: Looking Back and Ahead
James Memorial Chapel, 9:00 a.m.
Keynote Speech: Sallie B. King

10:10 a.m.

Plenary Session 1: The Suffering of Economic Injustice
James Memorial Chapel, 10:30 a.m.
Presenters: David Loy & Ulrich Duchrow
Response: Joerg Rieger
Moderator: Gary Dorrien

*Ecological Worship Service with Dr. Larry Rasmussen
12:30 p.m-1:00 p.m.

Refectory, 1:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions 1
2:00 p.m.

  • Seminar: John Thatamanil, “Gandhian Contribution to Liberation Theology and Engaged Buddhism," Bonhoeffer Room
  • Conversation: “Buddhist and Christian Nuns Compare Notes” (Enkyo O’Hara, Ven. Jijung, Ivone Gebara, Janet Walton, Mary Boys, Mary John Mananzan), James Memorial Chapel
  • Meditation: John Makransky, “Compassion Meditation for Social Activists,” Social Hall
  • Workshop: Nancy Cardoso and Somboon Chungprampree, “Buddhist and Christian Grassroots Organizing,” Room 207

Social Hall, 3:30 p.m.

Plenary Session 2: The Suffering of War and Violence
James Memorial Chapel, 4:00 p.m.
Presenters: A.T. Ariyaratne and Chung Hyun Kyung
Moderator: Tom F. Driver

Summary & Reflection
James Memorial Chapel, 5:50 p.m.
Paul Knitter

Refectory, 6:00 p.m.

Special Evening Event 2: “Listening to the World: Engagement”
James Memorial Chapel, 7:00 p.m.
Bernie Glassman, Cornel West, Felix Wilfred, Nancy Cardoso, Mercy
Amba Oduyoye, Ouyporn Khuankaew
Moderator: Brigitte Kahl

April 19, Friday


Social Hall, 7:30 a.m.
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara and Fr. Roger Haight

Plenary Session 3: The Suffering of Sexism
James Memorial Chapel, 10:00 a.m.
Presenters: Rita Gross and Rosemary Radford Ruether
Moderator: Janet Walton

Refectory, 12:00 p.m.

Film Screening
12:30 p.m. 

“Jesus & Buddha: Practicing Across Traditions,” James Memorial Chapel followed by a conversation with John Ankele (Director), Paul Knitter, and Chung Hyun Kyung

Breakout Sessions 2
2:00 p.m.

  • Seminar: José María Vigil and Jung Mo Sung, “Liberation Theology and Religious Pluralism in Latin America” -- Respondent: Gustavo Gutierrez, Bonhoeffer Room
  • Workshop: Enkyo O’Hara (with Robert Gunn), Room 207
  • Conversation: Bernie Glassman, Sallie King, A.T. Ariyaratne, Sulak Sivaraksa, Somboon Chungprampree, Ouyporn Khuankaew, Ven. Dobup, Ven. Pomnyun, “Socially Engaged Buddhism: East-West Dialogue,” James Memorial Chapel
  • Joerg Rieger and John Makransky, “Occupy Society and Religion: A Buddhist-Christian Conversation,” Social Hall

Social Hall, 3:30 p.m.

Plenary Session 4: The Suffering of Racism
James Memorial Chapel, 4:00 p.m.
Presenters: Jan Willis and Melanie Harris
Moderator: John Thatamanil

Summary & Reflection
James Memorial Chapel, 5:50 p.m.
Paul Knitter

Refectory, 6:00 p.m.

Special Evening Event 3: “Listening to our Heart: Spirituality”
James Memorial Chapel, 7:00 p.m.
Ven. Dobeop, Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Robert Thurman, Ruben Habito, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Mary John Mananzan, Gustavo Gutierrez
Moderator: Mary Boys

April 20, Saturday


Social Hall, 7:30 a.m.
Ven. Jijung and Ruben Habito

Plenary Session 5: Ecological Suffering

James Memorial Chapel, 10:00
Presenters: Sulak Sivaraksa and Kim Yong-Bock
Moderator/Response: Larry Rasmussen

Refectory, 12:00 p.m.

Book Signing
James Chapel, 1:00 p.m.

Question-and-Answer Dharma Talk
James Memorial Chapel, 1:30 p.m.
Presenter: Ven. Pomnyun
Translator: Jason Lim
Moderator: Chung Hyun Kyung

Social Hall, 3:00 p.m.

Plenary Session 6: “Spirituality and Liberation”
James Memorial Chapel, 3:30 p.m.
Presenters: John Makransky, Ivone Gebara, and Roger Haight
Moderator: Sallie King

Summary & Reflection
James Memorial Chapel, 5:50 p.m.
Paul Knitter

Refectory, 6:00 p.m.

Special Evening Event 4 and Closing Communion
James Memorial Chapel, 7:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Paul Knitter
Dharma/Gospel Friends’ Blessings: David Loy, Ruben Habito, Sallie King,  Kyeongil Jung
Buddhist-Christian Communion: Rita Gross, Ven. Dobeop, Felix Wilfred, Ivone Gebara

Social Hall, 9:00 p.m.

Location: James Memorial Chapel
Fees: General Registration $300
Student Registration $150
Union Student Registration Free
Contact: jungkyeongil@gmail.com
Calendar: Events Calendar
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