Columbia professor Bernard Faure speaks on “Buddhism, Sexuality, and Transgression,” April 15, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-Bernard Faure, Kao Professor in Japanese Religion at Columbia University, will speak about  "Buddhism, Sexuality, and Transgression," on Wednesday, April 15. Free and open to the public, the lecture will begin at 5:30pm in Taylor Hall (room 203) and is presented by the Department of Religion as part of the Frederic C. Wood Lecture Series and is cosponsored by Asia Studies.

Bernard Faure received a Ph.D. (Doctorat d'Etat) from Paris University. He is interested in various aspects of East Asian Buddhism, with an emphasis on Chan/Zen and Tantric or esoteric Buddhism. His work, influenced by anthropological history and cultural theory, has focused on topics such as the construction of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, the Buddhist cult of relics-iconography, sexuality and gender. His current research deals with the mythico-ritual system of esoteric Buddhism and its relationships with medieval Japanese religion.

He is the author of several books in French and English, including The Rhetoric of Immediacy: A Cultural Critique of Chan/Zen Buddhism (Princeton 1991), Chan Insights and Oversights: An Epistemological Critique of the Chan Tradition (Princeton 1993), Visions of Power: Imagining Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Princeton 1996), The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality (Princeton 1998), The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender (Princeton 2003), and Double Exposure (Stanford 2004). He is presently working on a book on Japanese Gods and Demons.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, April 15, 2009