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Buddha and the Green Goo: How Much is Too Much?


May 2, 2013
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanites Center

Lecture by David Loy, Independent Scholar. Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford, and the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society. Part of a series of lectures and colloquia on Religion and Wealth. Free and open to the public.

In addition to comments in Buddhist texts on its benefits and dangers, this presentation will reflect more generally on how wealth relates to basic Buddhist teachings about suffering and nonself. Is preoccupation with wealth/poverty another problematic example of dualistic thinking? Since money is a social construct, there are interesting parallels with shunyata “emptiness” and—more amusingly—with the ecophagic “grey goo” that Eric Drexler and other nanotechnologists have warned about.

About the speaker: David Loy received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the National University of Singapore.  He has taught in numerous universities worldwide, including the National University of Singapore, the Bunkyo University in Japan, the Hebrew University in Israel, and Xavier University in Ohio.  Professor Loy’s main research interest is in the dialogue between Buddhism and modernity, especially on social and ecological issues.  His numerous publications include The World is Made of Stories,  Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays, Money Sex War Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution, The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory, Lack and Transcendence, and The Problem of Death and Life in Psychotherapy, Existentialism and Buddhism, and Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy.  In addition, he is a Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism.  He lectures widely and gives retreats and workshops worldwide.