APSI 2019 Spring Speaker Series Presents:
Duncan Williams: Professor of Religion and East Asian Cultures | University of Southern California
American Sutra: Buddhism and the WWII American Experience
Thursday, February 28th | 4:00 pm | Korman Assembly Room (Perkins Library 217) | Duke University, West Campus
In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Buddhism was seen as a national security threat and was a major factor in why the Japanese American community was targeted for internment by the U.S. government. In his new book, Duncan Williams tells the stories of Japanese American Buddhists who drew on their practices to not only survive the camps, but, in persisting in their faith, launched one of the most inspiring defenses of religious freedom in our nation's history, insisting that they could be both Buddhist and American.
Duncan Williams is a professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures and the Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. He has been ordained since 1993 as a Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen tradition and served as the Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University from 1994-96. His publications include: The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Soto Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan and American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War.
**Special response by Professor Eric Muller** | Eric Muller teaches law at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and writes about the imprisonment of Japanese and Japanese Americans in the U.S. during World War II. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.