About the Symposium

8th Symposium on Humanistic Buddhism​

Humanistic Buddhist Response to Modern Crises​

Fo Guang Shan and Nan Tien Institute

6th – 8th November 2021

The 8th International Symposium, held online at Nan Tien Institute (NTI) in Australia, is the first International Symposium on Humanistic Buddhism held outside of Taiwan, since its inception.


Unlike traditional academic conferences, the intention of the symposium is to encourage interdisciplinary dialogues, stimulate creativity, and show how humanistic values can be applied within the context of issues that have arisen in contemporary society.

The theme of the 2021 Symposium is:

Humanistic Buddhist Responses to Modern Crises

The Covid-19 Pandemic has presented the world with challenges that have spread across all sectors of life, including our economy, physical and mental health, environment, and social life. Despite this being a major crisis and disruption to our daily lives, Nan Tien Institute has viewed the pandemic as a means to assist its community through a humanistic approach.

Leading international Buddhist Studies scholar Emeritus Professor Lewis Lancaster and Australia’s top social researcher Hugh Mackay are the Symposium’s keynote speakers. The topic of their dialogue is “Never Waste a Crisis: a human response to disruption”. Following them, are 24 esteemed panellists spread across 6 panels. The topics of the panels are titled:

Pre-recorded presentations are showcased before the start of each panel. This is followed by long moderated dialogue, which encourages free-flow conversation between the panellists and the audience. Panel 6 is an entirely live panel, consisting of NTI scholars and alumni, broadcasted at Nan Tien Institute.