The students of the graduate course, Philosophies and Religions of Asia (AS 206), under Dr. Cecilia T. Medina of the UP Asian Center, will hold a roundtable discussion, Kaleidoscope: Buddhist, Islamic, and Hindu Perspectives on Peace and Development, on 28 April 2018, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Japan Hall, UP Asian Center, Quezon City. The roundtable is free and open to the public, but participants are requested to sign up.
ABOUT THE ROUNDTABLE
In the interest of looking closely into the role of religion as a catalyst of peace and development, the roundtable is organized to derive learning from selected religious communities. The event will be a venue for explicating religious doctrines that serve as foundations for peace and development initiatives, as well for presenting how these doctrines are translated into concrete, contextual programs that promote peace and development in the Philippines.
- Buddhist Perspectives
In this presentation, Peggy Jiang will briefly present the essence of Tzu Chi Foundation, school of Buddhism, and how its principles are used in the context of disaster relief, as seen in Typhoon Yolanda efforts. She will also discuss the spirit of bodhisattvas, of how everyone can live based on its principles and engage in spiritual cultivation and work with people to achieve peace and development.
- Islamic Perspectives
Islam means "submission" or "entrusting one's self" (to the will of Allāh) and is a conjugation of the Arabic root, S-L-M, whose cognates connote peace and security, among others. Thus, "as-Salām(u) 'alaykum" means "peace be upon on you," and is used to say, "salām" (hello). In this presentation, Almahdi “Aldean” Alonto will discuss the importance of peace and respect for diversity and tolerance. It will also delve into how Islam has contributed to peacebuilding and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.
- Hindu Perspectives
Shakuntala Vaswani explains how Hinduism, as “a way of life”, believes that the divine spirit is present in all beings and in everything. The presentation will focus on the key principles of Hinduism, such as dharma, that leads to harmony and peace, ahimsa, meaning non-violence, which has inspired several non-violent movements across the world, and shanti or peace. Hinduism believes that with positive thinking and efforts, it is possible to re-establish peace in peoples’ minds and bodies before becoming instruments of peace in the world.
Serving as discussant is Dean Macrina Morados of the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman. Attached below are the speaker and discussant profiles.
ORGANIZERS and INQUIRIES
The Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.