Buddhism and Cultural Studies: A Profession of Faith by Edwin Ng

By Edwin Ng

This publication explores the reciprocity among Buddhist, Derridean, and Foucauldian understandings approximately ethics, subjectivity, and ontological contingency, to enquire the moral and political capability of perception meditation perform. The publication is narrated from the viewpoint of a postcolonial ‘Western Buddhist’ convert who, regardless of turning out to be up in Singapore the place Buddhism used to be part of his disaporic ‘Chinese’ ancestral history, purely embraced Buddhism whilst he migrated to Australia and stumbled on Western translations of Buddhist teachings. via an autoethnography of the author’s Buddhist-inspired pursuit of an educational occupation, the publication develops and professes a non-doctrinal knowing of religion that could be pertinent to ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’ alike, inviting the educational reader specifically to contemplate the (unacknowledged) function of religion in aiding scholarly perform. outstanding a cautious stability among serious research and self-reflexive inquiry, the ebook plays in all senses of the note, a occupation of faith.

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Such a reactionary dismissal of subject matter that does not conform to received expectations about scholarly practice, even if made in jest, reflects the normative power of the ‘imagined subjectivity’ of the resolutely rational academic. Following Barbara Herrnstein Smith (1988) in conceiving of academia as a system of values, Matt Hills (2002: 3) has argued that ‘academia […] is bounded by its own imagined subjectivity’, which ‘attributes valued traits of the subject “duly trained and informed” only to those within the given community, while denigrating or devaluing the “improper” subjectivity of those who are outside the community [or, those deemed to fall short of prevailing expectations]’.

What White Collar Zen attempts to do is arguably to render Zen as the metaphysical ground of contemporary corporate culture—what is in effect the neoliberal colonisation of Buddhist teachings. THE SPIRITUALITY OF ENGAGED BUDDHISM White Collar Zen’s model of Buddhist spirituality stands in stark contrast to the model of spirituality articulated by the transnational Engaged Buddhism movement: [E]ngaged Buddhism is an international movement whose participants seek to apply the Buddhist ideals of wisdom and compassion to present day social, political, and environmental issues.

1987. Toward Desacralizing Secularization Theory. Social Forces 65(3): 587–611. Hägglund, M. 2008. Radical Atheism: Derrida and the Time of Life. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Hall, G. 2002. Culture in Bits: The Monstrous Future of Theory. New York: Continuum. Levinas, E. 1989. The Levinas Reader, ed. Sean Hand. Oxford: Blackwell. S. 1998. Belief. In Critical Terms for the Study of Religion, ed.  Taylor, 21–35. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Naas, M. 2012. Miracle and Machine: Jacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science, and the Media.

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