investigates Eastern thought to better understand Christianity
The quality of presence, engaging in Zen, and experiencing the
non-static Universe may be unfamiliar concepts to many
Westerners, but they will be the focus of an upcoming lecture by
Dr. Peter Feldmeier, UT professor of religious studies,
in order to better understand Christianity.
“West Meets East: A Spiritual Transformation” is the title of
the free, public event, which will be held 7 p.m. Thursday,
Nov. 8, 2012 in the Richard and Jane McQuade Law Center
Auditorium and will be the final lecture in The University of
Toledo Center for Religious Understanding’s fall lecture series.
Feldmeier, who teaches with a specialization in Christian
spirituality, comparative theology and Buddhism, hopes that the
lecture will help show guests that entering into the religious
imaginations of other traditions can help them to rethink their
With the focus of investigating Theravada Buddhism, Zen,
and Daoism, the lecture will show how these three areas
can help revitalize and re-evaluate a number of Christian
understandings and practices.
Feldmeier believes that it is very beneficial to perform this
type of comparative theology where one’s own theological
interests are addressed in the context of dialogue or some other
engagement with other traditions.
“It is not an exercise in religious syncretism, whereby one
intends to make a metaphysical mud of mutually incompatible
religious claims into some new morphed hybrid,” Feldmeier said.
“These traditions, precisely because they look different, help
us challenge our own assumptions, see our own blind spots, or
offer opportunities to re-conceive our own tradition with both
continuity and newness.”
Feldmeier holds the Margaret and Thomas Murray and James J.
Bacik Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies. Visitors may park in
area 12 near the Law Center for the event.