You are here

Special Guest Speaker Duncan Ryuken Williams- American Sutra - Faith and Freedom of Japanese American Buddhists During World War II

Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 7:30 pm

This event is co-sponsored by Dharma Rain Zen Center

This talk tells the little-known history of how, in one of our country’s darkest hours, Japanese American Buddhists fought to defend their faith and preserve religious freedom. Even as they were stripped of their homes and imprisoned in camps, Japanese American Buddhists insisted that they could be both Buddhist and American. Nearly all Americans of Japanese descent were subject to bigotry and accusations of disloyalty, but Buddhists aroused particular suspicion.Using newly translated sources and extensive interviews with survivors of the camps and veterans of the war, American Sutra reveals how the Japanese American community broadened our country’s conception of religious freedom and forged a new American Buddhism.

Duncan Ryuken Williams is Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California and Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. Previously, he held the Ito Distinguished Chair of Japanese Buddhism at University of California at Berkeley and served as the Director of Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies. Williams is the author of the 2019 LA Times Bestseller American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (Harvard University Press) and The Other Side of Zen (Princeton University Press) Born in Tokyo, Japan, he is also an ordained Soto Zen Buddhist priest.

Duncan Ryuken Williams

Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple
Free; donations welcomed