Off to India!

static.squarespaceI’m composing my first blog post from an airport! I’m on my way to Ahmedabad, Gujarat to join students from Phillips Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy on a program called Niswarth.

Lots of links above. Niswarth is an opportunity for students and faculty to learn with each other and peers from Indian schools. We will learn about modern India — politics, religion, culture, history, educational system — while also grappling with questions of privilege, inequality, social change, moral agency, and justice. I’ve been on this trip twice before (in 2008 and 2011) and am delighted to be a part of it once more.

A couple years ago I wrote about the pedagogy of this program for Independent Teacher, an online magazine published by NAIS. You can read that article here.

More interesting, however, is the blog that is being updated regularly by student participants from this year’s trip. It’s well worth a read! (I’ll also try to share thoughts and reflections when I can.)

 

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Seeking Truth and Seeking Victory

Fear Not

 

The philosophical graffiti above comes from a remark during my spring Bioethics course. We were talking about abortion (I believe) and a student was a bit concerned that she would not be able to articulate exactly what was on her mind. In response, these words came out of my mouth. They get to, I think, the ideal of what I hope for in a course on Ethics or Religious Studies. Continue reading

What Does Buddhism Require?

Young monks getting provisions before a teaching. Boudhanath, Nepal

Young monks getting provisions before a teaching. Boudhanath, Nepal

This is a couple months old, but Professor Jay Garfield has an excellent interview with “The Stone,” a philosophy blog at the New York Times.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/what-does-buddhism-require/

Check it out! I’ll definitely be using this in my introductory classes next year. He makes clear and accessible points about the internal diversity of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, reincarnation, the process of going for refuge, and the Buddhist teachings on personal identity and selflessness.

Highly recommended.