Glenn WallisSep 16, 2016
Glenn Wallis on Non-Buddhism
New Books Network 2016
(Note: please be aware that the sound quality is not at its best in this episode. Skype was apparently having a bad day! We did our best to make it listenable. The second interview has much better sound quality) Why would a modern day Buddhist engage with the work of non-Buddhism? Why bother to be forced to question your relationship with Buddhism? Why risk destabilising the status quo? Why not carry on as usual? If the last episode didn't convince you, maybe the man who started the thing will. The instigator of the non-Buddhism project graces the Imperfect Buddha podcast with his presence and with such rich material and such a sharp mind, we couldn’t contain everything in a single episode. The humanity shines through and for those who may have been unsettled when approaching the revolutionary work at the Speculative non-Buddhism site, will find the content of the podcast surprising. This is not to say there has been any loss of the sharp critique many will be familiar with, non-Buddhism has work to do and there is no shying away from its powerful insights. Part of what emerges in our discussion is the need to go further: to question, to reflect, to delve, to think it all through and appreciate the limits of what we know, and pretend to know. Throughout, we talk about the speculative non-Buddhism heuristic and expand on many of the topics we touched on in our last episode. We also cover the how of applying non-Buddhism as a form of practice and to thinking critically about Buddhism, the relationship between the individual and society, and the changes that can take place when non-philosophy is applied. Glenn Wallis Bio Glenn holds a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from Harvard University's Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies. His scholarly work focuses on various aspects of Buddhism. For a long time, he was concerned with how to make classical Buddhist literature, philosophy, and practice relevant to contemporary life. His recent work is best summed up in the title for a book he is currently writing for Bloomsbury: A Critique of Western Buddhism: The Self-Help Myth with critique drawing from François Laruelle's non-philosophy and Peter Sloterdijk's anthropotechnic. Since the early 1990s, he has taught in the religion departments of several universities, including the University of Georgia (where he received tenure), Brown University, Bowdoin College, and the Rhode Island School of Design and the Won Institute of Graduate Studies. Episode music by Bristol (UK) based post-punk band Idles.
Matthew O'Connell a life coach and the host of the The Imperfect Buddha podcast. You can find The Imperfect Buddha on Facebook and Twitter (@imperfectbuddha).