Professor Zimei Deng's Lecture in Toronto Explores Humanistic Buddhism

March 17, 2024

On March 17th, Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto welcomed Professor Zimei Deng, a distinguished scholar from Fo Guang University's Buddhist Studies Center and the Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism, for a lecture on "Venerable Master Hsing Yun and My Study of Humanistic Buddhism." The event, which attracted over 80 attendees both in-person and virtually, underscored the widespread interest in Venerable Master Hsing Yun's teachings and the principles of Humanistic Buddhism.

Professor Deng commenced the lecture by sharing personal anecdotes of his encounters with Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the revered founder of Fo Guang Shan. These anecdotes left an indelible mark on Deng, which not only deepened his respect for Venerable Master's wisdom and compassion but also highlighted the Master's support during Deng's early struggles with research funding and academic recognition. Deng admired Venerable Master Hsing Yun's forward-thinking approach to Buddhism, crediting him with offering invaluable guidance for navigating life's challenges.

Professor Deng traced his scholarly journey, referencing seminal works such as "A New Biography of Master Taixu" and "Contemporary Trends in Humanistic Buddhism." His research, which applies sociological theories to the study of Buddhism, has significantly influenced the perception and propagation of Humanistic Buddhism across Asia.

Central to Deng's discussion was Venerable Master Hsing Yun's philosophy that "Buddhism is essentially Humanistic Buddhism," emphasizing the need for Buddhism to adapt to modernity. He elucidated how academic exploration and dialogues surrounding Humanistic Buddhism have not only provided theoretical support but have also shaped governmental policies, facilitating a broader developmental scope for Buddhism in the contemporary world.

During the interactive Q & A session, attendees expressed a keen interest in reconciling traditional Buddhist practices with modern life. Professor Deng advocated for a balanced approach, suggesting that Buddhist principles of meditation, awareness, and wisdom could offer solace amidst today's fast-paced lifestyle. He encouraged young Buddhists to deeply engage with their studies and draw inspiration from Venerable Master Hsing Yun's visionary outlook.

The lecture concluded with heartfelt gratitude from Venerable Chueh Fan, who presented Professor Deng with "The Biography of Master Hsing Yun" as a token of connection and shared mission. Dr. Henry Shiu, Assistant Professor at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, praised the lecture for fostering enriching dialogue and diverse perspectives on Humanistic Buddhism among attendees.

On the afternoon of March 17th, Professor Deng Zimei, a specially appointed researcher at the Buddhist Studies Center of Fo Guang University and the Institute of Humanistic Buddhism at Fo Guang Shan,was invited to give a special lecture on "Venerable Master Hsing Yun and My Study of Humanistic Buddhism" at Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto.
Professor Deng Zimei was invited to Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto to present a special lecture titled "Venerable Master Hsing Yun and My Study of Humanistic Buddhism."
During the event, Venerable Chueh Fan, Abbess of Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto, presented a "Biography of Master Hsing Yun" to Professor Deng as a token of connection.
The lecture was attended by more than 80 individuals both in-person and online, with Dr. Henry Shiu, Assistant Professorat Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, in the front row on the left.