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Duncan Ryūken Williams

Duncan Ryūken Williams was ordained as a Soto Zen Buddhist priest at Kotakuji Temple (Nagano, Japan) in 1993. He served as a Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2000. Currently, he is Professor in and the Chair of the USC School of Religion and Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture in Los Angeles. Previously, he held the Ito Distinguished Chair of Japanese Buddhism at UC Berkeley and served as the Director of Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies. Williams is the author of the LA Times bestseller American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (Harvard University Press, 2019) about Buddhism and the WWII Japanese American internment; The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Sōtō Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan (Princeton University Press, 2005), and editor of 7 books including Issei Buddhism in the AmericasAmerican Buddhism, Hapa Japan, and Buddhism and Ecology. He is also the founder of Hapa Japan (a mixed race/mixed roots Japanese community and festival); was the founding Executive Vice President of JAPAN HOUSE/LA, and serves as a national steering committee/board member of organizations ranging from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Harvard Pluralism Project, and Tsuru for Solidarity. He has written op-eds about Buddhism for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post; served as a Buddhism consultant for TV shows such as AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy” (Season 2) and Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle” (Season 4); and his non-academic writings can be found in TricycleLion’s Roar, and Buddhadharma.

Sep 21, 2023 - Sep 24, 2023

Becoming Free Together: Refuge, Liberation, and Belonging

Duncan Ryūken Williams

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