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Dessi to speak on globalization of Buddhism (June 10)


Shining a modern light on an ancient practice, noted Buddhist scholar, author and educator, Dr. Ugo Dessi will present a talk at 7 p.m. Monday, June 10 at Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

Dr. Ugo Dessi

Asking the question, “Can the globalization of Buddhism help solve war and alienation?” Dessi brings international and inspiring insights to the podium, discussing how Japanese Buddhism continues to evolve, along with environmental and human rights values, as global interconnectedness has increased.

Admission is free and the general public is welcome.

Born and raised on the Italian island of Sardinia, with many similarities to Hawaii, Dessi and his wife, Dr. Elisabetta Porcu met as university students. Together, they traveled to Mumbai, India to study Buddhism, and then to Germany, where both received PhD in religious studies from the University of Marburg.

After six years in Japan, working at Ryukoku University, Otani University, and Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, they returned to Germany in 2010 to teach Japanese religions at the University of Leipzig.

Dessi is the author of Japanese Religions and Globalization (Routledge 2013), and is presently doing research on meditation practice by Jodo Shinsu lay and clergy practitioners in Hawaii for another book project on the global relevance of Japanese Buddhism.

He will be sitting with the Honokaa Mindfulness Sangha at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9 in the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple social hall.

“What is globalization?” Dessi asks. “Through a variety of examples we will see how Japanese Buddhism is unexpectedly involved in globalization in a variety of ways. Like in the past, the transmission of Buddhism continues to be an important ingredient in the globalization of culture… And, significantly, there are cases in which Japanese Buddhism is addressing global problems such as war and social alienation that are left unsolved by the global markets and politics.”

Dessi’s talk is free and open to everyone regardless of religious or spiritual background. The program begins at 7 p.m., followed by time for questions and answers, and light refreshments.

For further information, call Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple at 775-7232.

The presentation is made possible by the Buddhist Education Commission with support of the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

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