The Smugglers of Zen

30 October, 2017

Zen: how could a religious movement, born in 6th century China as chan, found later in Korea, then Japan in the 12th century, suddenly become in the mid-twentieth century a major reference in the artistic and intellectual life of American and European societies?

The reasons of such phenomenon are to be found mostly in deep global and historical changes, but its agents are easily identifiable: it was the work of a handful of contributors “The Smugglers of Zen”.

Professor Lozerand will offer a broad introduction to a global phenomenon covering several decades. He will lay out the most significant historical and social markers, and focus on the profiles of some of the major contributors: Daisetsu Suzuki, Eugen Herrigel, Reginald H. Blyth, J. Herbert, Allan Watts, and Soyen Shaku. Lastly the talk will conclude with an analysis of one particular process of cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitanization.

About the speaker:
Emmanuel Lozerand is Professor of Japanese Language and Literature in the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO) in Paris, and  Vice Director of the Japanese Studies Center of INALCO. He is also the author and editor of several books on modern Japanese literature, and a recipient of the Shibusawa Claudel Prize (2005) for his Literature and National Spirit : The Birth of History of Literature in Japan at the end of the XIXth century.

Location: SLC Common Room, Brennan MacCallum Building A18

Contact:Dr Olivier Ansart