The Ultimate Shelter Provided for Everyone
Shinran Shonin, in his wasan (verses of praise) counseled us all to “take refuge in Amida, the ultimate shelter”. What does this mean in an age of literal refugees, especially for a tradition whose ethnic Japanese membership in North America were turned into internal refugees during and after WWII? Examining the lives of Shinran and Rennyo, we will consider the real-world hardships they faced which led them to create Buddhist philosophies focused on peace, shelter, security, welcoming, and universal compassion. Dr. Wilson also shares with us his family’s recent experience in aiding refugees in Canada.
Guest lecturer Rev. Dr. Jeff Wilson is a professor of religious studies and East Asian studies and the Chair of the department of Culture and Languages for Renison University College, at the University of Waterloo. He has written several books and numerous articles about the interaction of Buddhism and various aspects of North American culture. Dr. Wilson has also published pioneering research in the history of same-sex wedding ceremonies. He teaches courses on religion in North America, East Asian religion, and theory and method in religious studies at the University of Waterloo. He is also highly active in the wider academy, especially at the American Academy of Religion, and do media appearances and radio interviews when he is able to provide an informed perspective on issues of religion in contemporary society.