Buddhism and The Dilemmas of Death

Damien Keown, Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Read by and response by Gereon Kopf, Professor of Religion, Luther College

Thursday, February 9, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center

Prof. Keown’s lecture explores the ramifications of the “brain death” criterion of death for Buddhism. Keown suggests that, from a Buddhist perspective, brain death is too uncertain a basis on which to declare the death of a human being. Reviewing attitudes to brain death in Japan and Thailand, Keown concludes that Buddhism does not regard the loss of function in the brain as equivalent to human death.

Damien Keown is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His main research interests are theoretical and applied aspects of Buddhist ethics, with particular reference to contemporary issues. He is the author of many books and articles including The Nature of Buddhist Ethics (Palgrave, 2001), Buddhism and Bioethics (Palgrave 2001), Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2000), Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2006), and the Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism (Oxford, 2003).

Copy of the Keown Lecture

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