2022 NEH Summer Institute
June 12-24, 2022

Our world is facing unprecedented ecological and social challenges. In Buddhism, as in other religions, imaginal worlds—worlds deliberately accessed through the imagination—are primary sources for personal healing, inspiration, and insight, as well as for social, cultural, and political transformation. This Institute invites scholars to reflect on the critical roles our imaginations play in creating (and potentially) transforming our world by examining how these worlds are deployed in Buddhist literature, ritual, meditation, and art; Buddhist philosophical theories on the creative dynamic between mind, action, and world; and contemporary theories on the imagination (from philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, and religious studies).

The public is invited to join two live Zoom panel discussions with the institute faculty.

Religion & the Imagination

Wednesday, June 15, 9:30 AM PDT on Zoom

Panel Discussion with Jeffrey Kripal (Rice University), Laurie Patton (Middlebury College), and Elliot Wolfson (University of California, Santa Barbara).

Buddhism & the Imagination

Thursday, June 23, 6:30 PM PDT on Zoom

Panel Discussion with Benjamin Bogin (Skidmore College), Francisca Cho (Georgetown University), David McMahan (Franklin and Marshall College), Karin Meyers (Mangalam Research Center), and William Waldron (Middlebury College).

The Imagination and Imaginal Worlds in the Mirror of Buddhism has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.