Burning Refuge Conference

Burning Refuge Conference


The Inaugural Social-spiritual Liberation Conference At Harvard Divinity School


Location: Harvard Divinity School & Online (Zoom)
Date and Time: March 7 – 9, 2024
Subject Fields: Buddhism and Race, White Supremacy, and Colonialism; Sex, Gender & Queer/Trans Being; Capitalism & Labor; Technology, AI & Meta-Narratives of Progress; Environmental Justice, Animal Liberation & Deep Ecology.


Abstract: In March 2024, an exciting and radical conference will host its inaugural offering at Harvard Divinity School to convene critical and interdisciplinary Buddhist scholarship, activism, and arts to chart a path forward into true social-spiritual liberation. We assert that the dream of ultimate social-spiritual liberation is possible and is thus our great task – we invite you to set out on this mission with us and make a vow of commitment. Will you join us?

This year, we are thrilled to bring together a diverse group of scholars, practitioners, and esteemed teachers to explore the profound intersections of Buddhism and individual and collective liberation.

Apply To Present Your Research At: https://burningrefuge2024.site/


In addition to our incredible and diverse lineup of keynote speakers, our call for papers/abstracts remains open for any undergraduate/graduate student or scholars inspired to speak on issues related to the aforementioned themes. We are hopeful of inviting a truly diverse array of perspectives to speak on these capacious and complex intersections.

With more speakers to be announced, the current keynote speaker lineup is:

  1. Venerable Kodo Nishimura: Jodo Shu (Pure Land) monk, global LGBTQ+ Buddhist activist/speaker/leader, and internationally celebrated make-up and visual artist.
  2. Mihiri Tillakaratne: Leader in scholarship-journalism-activism in Asian American Buddhism, Associate Editor at Lion’s Roar, PhD from UC Berkeley in Buddhism and race/gender/colonial studies.
  3. Santosh Ishwardas Raut: Professor of Buddhist Philosophy and Aesthetics, acclaimed Ambedkarite Buddhist clergyperson/leader/activist, and Fellow at Harvard Divinity School.
  4. Duncan Ryuken Williams: Professor of East Asian Studies at USC, Soto Zen Priest, foremost scholar on history of and activist leader within Japanese & Asian/PI American Buddhisms.
  5. Magga Sunim: Jogye Buddhist monastic and South Korean public figure advocating for youth mental health. Author, abbott, and president of Compassion Meditation Society.
  6. Cuong Lu: Thiền Buddhist teacher, scholar and writer. 19th monastic discipline of Thich Nhat Hanh. Founder of No Word Zen, an order of “invisible” monks and nuns.
  7. More speakers TBA!


Find out more at: https://burningrefuge2024.site/

For inquiries, contact burningrefuge2024@gmail.com.