Program & Abstracts

8th Symposium on Humanistic Buddhism

Humanistic Buddhist Response to Modern Crises​

Fo Guang Shan and Nan Tien Institute

6th – 8th November 2021

Note that all dates and times are in AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), and that all sessions will be offered via Zoom.  Sessions that will also be available on-site in the Nan Tien Institute are marked as such.

Symposium Program

6 November (Saturday)

11:30 am to 12:30 pm


Opening Ceremony

Emcee: Alex Trauth-Goik

Welcome to Country

Video Address by Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Welcome from the President of Nan Tien Institute

Introduction to the Symposium 

Introduction of VIPs & speakers 


Closing and Group Photo

1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Keynote Dialogue

Never Waste a Crisis: a human response to disruption

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Panel 1: Pre-recorded Presentations

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Panel 1

Creating an Inclusive Society

Moderator: Professor Mario Fernando (University of Wollongong)

Professor Dr Bee Scherer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Caring for the precious human life in its full diversity: Towards reading the dharma for practices of inclusion and celebration

Dr Linus Lancaster (Healdsburg Unified School District and Prison University Project, San Quentin)

  • Hopeful Monsters, Fostering Empathy and Compassion Through Arts Education

Leanne Smith (Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University)

  • Engaging Young People in our Democracy

Venerable Miao Guang (Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism)

  • Post-COVID-19 Acculturation of Humanistic Buddhism and Development of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order

7 November (Sunday)

8:30 am to 9:30 am

Panel 2: Pre-recorded Presentations

10:00 am to 11:00 am

Panel 2

Working Towards a More Humanistic Society of the Future: Challenges for the Self within Complex Systems

Moderator: Nick Rheinberger (ABC Illawarra)

Emeritus Professor Stephen Hill (University of Wollongong)

  • From Self to Our Shared Humanity

Dr Leonard Fisher (University of Bristol)

  • Challenges for the Self in an Interconnected World

Dr Peter D Hershock (East-West Center)

  • Freedom-of-Attention and the Intelligence Revolution: Buddhist Reflection on Technological Risk and Our Prospects for more Humane Global Futures

Venerable Dr Juewei (Nan Tien Institute)

  • Wholeness through Community: A Humanistic Buddhist perspective

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

Panel 3: Pre-recorded Presentations

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Panel 3

Learning from Australian Responses to Modern Crises

Moderator: Venerable Juefang (Hsing Yun Education Foundation)

Associate Professor Anna Halafoff (Deakin University) 

  • Buddhism in Australia: Traditional and (ultra)modern adaptations and responses to racism

Tina Ng (Metta Legal and Metta Centre)

  • A Buddhist Response to Conflict

Meg Hart (Hart & Mind Associates)

  • Bodhisattva in Action – Leadership from the Inside Out for Uncertain Times

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Panel 4: Pre-recorded Presentations

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Panel 4

Revaluing Buddhist Adaptations in the Modern World 

Moderator: Dr Jane Qiu (Kintell) 

Dr Jens Reinke (University of the West)

  • Humanistic Buddhism under the Global Condition

Dr Jonathan Mair 

  • Humanistic Buddhism and Ethnographic Research Methods

Dr Melody Chiu (RIHSS, Ministry of Science and Technology)

  • Humanistic Buddhism meets Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar and Thailand

Joey Yeo

  • Leveraging Humanistic Buddhism to better prepare for the next crisis

8 November (Monday)

9:30 am to 10:30 am

Panel 5: Pre-recorded Presentations

11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Panel 5

Examining Humanistic Approaches to Health and Wellbeing

Professor Will Tuladhar-Douglas (Situgyan Consulting Ltd.)

  • Autism and Buddhism

Professor Malcolm Voyce (Macquarie University)

  • Sharing Health-Related Data and Buddhism

Dr Jonathan Page (Nan Tien Institute)

  • A Humanistic Buddhist medical approach to Climate Change

Dr. Kwong Chan (Griffith University)

  • MaRIS – The Application of Contemplative Pedagogy in Medical Education 

12:30 pm to 2:00 pm

Panel 6

Putting Compassion into Action

Moderator: Professor Rodney Vickers (Nan Tien Institute)

Dr Iain Sinclair (Nan Tien Institute)

  • Worldly altruism versus megacompassion: Divergent ideals of benevolence and their implications

Dr Sue Sumskis (Nan Tien Institute)

  • Compassion in the face of crisis in the first responder workforce

Jane Wang (Nan Tien Institute)

  • “Don’t Lose Your Bodhicitta”: Compassionate Responses to Gender Violence

Dr Nadine Levy (Nan Tien Institute)

  • Compassionate pedagogy in health and social education

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

General Discussion and Closing Ceremony

General Discussion and Feedback

Closing Remarks 

Transfer of Merits