Saturday, June 14, 2014


Ah, Saturdays in Brooklyn - I'm going to miss you! Today I went from the farmer's market (where I made a contribution to "textile recycling") to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Expecting (actually dreading) the uniform green of summer I was delighted to find blooming rosebay (a rhododendron native to the eastern North America), irises, mountain laurel, extravagances of little roses and the splendid red display below. From there it was on to the Brooklyn Museum for coffee, a glimpse of Clarissa Dalloday (a Woolfian riposte to Bloomsday), and a stroll through the wonderful American collection. Nice neighborhood I live in!

This was braided with work on an essay I'm finishing on teaching comparative religious ethics. It's based on my AAR paper last year  - our panel on teachingreligious ethics is becoming a special section in a journal! Somewhat awkwardly, though, I find my thinking has changed.

The paper
is called "Wider Moral Communities," but about "Exploring Religious Ethics," which traversing Buddhist and Christian traditions. Yet because of "Buddhism and Modern Thought," along with the enduring questions of "Buddhism and Liberal Arts," my understanding of Buddhist ethics has deepened. Hsiao-Lan Hu's account of anattā (non-Self) as the flip-side of pratītya samutpāda (interdependent co-arising) is central to the change, I think. Will I incorporate this new understanding in the paper? I can't, really. For one thing, there's a respondent, who's expecting my paper to be basically the same as the one she responded to in November. For another, I'm not sure where this will lead - an ethics without selves!?

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