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Buddhism – Religion in America Lecture Series
March 19, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Explore and learn more about Buddhism and what it means to be a Buddhist at our continuing Religion in America Lecture Series. Together, we will discuss Zen, a practice that requires our humanity be one – transcending denominations. We will also learn about Zen meditation which is believed to enhance life when practiced faithfully. And we’ll delve into the deep questions around emptiness, karma, and co-origination.
Our speaker will be Robert E. Kennedy, S.J.:
Robert E. Kennedy, S.J., author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and Zen Gifts to Christians, is one of several practicing Catholic men and women who are recognized by the Buddhist community as zen teachers. He is a licensed psychoanalyst and professor emeritus of theology at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. He is a representative of the Institute for Spiritual Consciousness in Politics at the United Nations.
As a Christian Fr. Kennedy has found meaning and deep reverence in the practice of zen. His work reflects the Jesuit statement on mission and inter-religious dialogue, which calls on Jesuits to be familiar with other religious traditions and to immerse themselves in theological exchange in a dialogue of life, action and religious experience. He is active in interfaith work, teaching zen to persons of all faiths, conducting retreats in the United States, Mexico, Ireland and England. He teaches at Morning Star Zendo in Jersey City, NJ.
He studied zen in Japan with the Japanese master Yamada Roshi. He continued his study under Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles and Bernard Tetsugen Glassman Roshi in New York; in 1997 he received inka, the formal seal of approval from Glassman Roshi and received the title Roshi, or Master. He holds doctorates in Theology from the University of Ottawa and from St. Paul University in Ottawa, a Masters in Theology from Sophia University in Tokyo, and a Doctor of Ministry in Psychology and Clinical Studies from Andover-Newton in Boston. He is a graduate of the Blanton-Peale Institute of Religion and Health in New York. Website: www.kennedyzen.org.
“Robert Kennedy is one of the most eloquent exponents of a Catholic Christianity rooted deep in his own lived experience of faith. His wonderfully poetic style speaks of Zen as a way to overcome the human tendency to theorize, by total immersion in a stillness where an intuition of God’s immanence can be realized…” (Michael Barnes)
As a Jesuit I follow the guidelines of the Society of Jesus to not merely tolerate other faiths, but to promote whatever is true in these faiths, and to practice these truths by walking in their shoes. This creative interfaith work has touched deep chords in the minds of those who practice. In a spirit of a common search for wisdom, compassion and service, we learn that whatever is true is not to be feared.
I call my center “Morning Star” because this phrase has deep resonance in both the Buddhist and Christian traditions and because of my confidence that the number of Christians sitting with Buddhists will continue to grow in the years to come. My hope is that Morning Star will give way to a bright day of interfaith dialogue and practice.