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Lecture Series on Global Philosophies

Nov 17, 2011

Neoplatonism and Buddhism was the subject of a talk by Prof. Jens Halfwassen on 17 November 2011 at the Karl Jaspers Centre. The lecture was part of the series “Global Philosophies? Reflections and Challenges between Asia and Europe” organised by Prof. Birgit Kellner (Chair of Buddhist Studies).  

Under the title “Das Absolute als Negativität und/oder als Geist - westliche und buddhistische Perspektiven (Neuplatonismus, Nāgārjuna, Yogācāra)”, Prof. Halfwassen explored the remarkable parallels and intriguing contrasts between Neoplatonism in Europe and Buddhist philosophical currents in ancient India. Among others, he argued that the intellectual development of Platonism and those of Buddhism are similar if one focuses on the concept of the absolute. (CV, Abstract)

Prof. Dr. Jens Halfwassen is Director of the Philosophical Institute at Heidelberg University. With his numerous publications on Plato and Neoplatonism as well as on Metaphysics, he is known even beyond his discipline. In 2003, he was awarded the Rudolf-Meimberg-Prize of the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz. The award honours outstanding publications on the responsibility of humans for society.

The lecture was part of the Cluster’s lecture series "Global Philosophies? Reflections and Challenges between Asia and Europe" organised by Prof. Birgit Kellner, Chair of Buddhist Studies. The list of speakers includes Dr. Ori Sela (Tel Aviv University), Prof. Jens Halfwassen (Heidelberg University), Prof. John Taber (University of New Mexico), Prof. Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University), Prof. Parul Dave Mukherji (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and Prof. Edward Slingerland (University of British Columbia). All lectures take place from 6 to 8 pm in room 212 of the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies, Voßstraße 2, Building 4400, Heidelberg.  

Visit the lecture series’ website for further information  


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  • Prof. Jens Halfwassen

  • Key visual created by Franziska Koch