Robert Buswell, Jr. is Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is former president of the Association for Asian Studies. Buswell received the prestigious Manhae Grand Prize in Korea for his pioneering contributions to establishing Korean Buddhist Studies in the West. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
The debate on whether enlightenment is sudden or gradual was key to the development of Zen Buddhism in East Asia. The Korean Zen master Chinul (1158-1210) offers one of the most thorough treatments of sudden/gradual issue in premodern East Asian Buddhist literature. Professor Robert Buswell explores the soteriological ramifications of Chinul's distinctive path schema of initial sudden awakening followed by continued gradual cultivation, a schema that becomes emblematic of the Korean Buddhist tradition.
Reception starts at 4:00pm.