Cats, Dogs, and Buddhism: D.T. Suzuki and the Welfare of Animals

February 22, 2018 - 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
James Dobbins
(Towerview Room)
Dr. James Dobbins

D.T. Suzuki (1870-1966), a monumental figure in the spread of Buddhism to the West in the twentieth century, wrote a few essays sympathetic to animals and even helped establish a Buddhist animal shelter in Japan. This presentation elucidates Suzuki’s ideas and this little-known side of his life. It also explores the historical influences on him concerning animals, both Buddhist and Western. The person who had perhaps the greatest impact on Suzuki’s thinking was his American wife, Beatrice Lane Suzuki (1875-1939).

Dr. James Dobbins is the Fairchild Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies at Oberlin College. His research interests span Pure Land Buddhism in Japan, Buddhism's modern development, and Japanese Buddhist art. Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki, Volume II: Pure Land (University of California Press, 2015) is an edited collection of Suzuki's most important essays on Pure Land Buddhism and features a critical introduction by Dobbins.

Part of the APSI Spring 2018 Speaker Series. Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies. Download an event flyer (.png version available).

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  • Asian/Pacific Studies Institute

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