Our year long jaunt through the world of academic engagement with Buddhism continues and in this episode of the Imperfect Buddha Podcast, we talk to William Edelglass, professor of Philosophy, Environmental Studies, and Buddhist Studies at Marlboro College. William has been a teacher in a variety of settings, including a federal prison in New York, a Tibetan refugee settlement in Nepal, and for many years as a wilderness guide at Outward Bound. Before going to Marlboro, William taught Western philosophy at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, India, to Tibetan monks, and Buddhist philosophy to American college students on a Tibetan studies program. William also teaches a range of fascinating courses at Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies.
William and I cover quite a bit of ground in our 2-hour long conversation spanning Buddhism, Philosophy, and our current political climate. Here are just some of the questions we tackled;
What stand out lessons have each phase of your professional life taught you? Which lessons continue to influence the way you work and think about what drives you? What philosophical challenges do the different Buddhisms present to Western Philosophical thought? What philosophical challenges does Western Philosophy present to Buddhist thought? How do you think Western practitioners might take a more critical and explorative approach to Buddhist thought? What are we to do with the challenges of nihilism as practitioners? What are we to make of mysticism? How can we renew philosophical thought for practitioners? Why is Shantideva such an important figure for you and what challenges do his work and thought raise? Why is Levinas an important figure for you what challenges do his work and thought raise for Buddhism?
You can find out more about William’s work at the following site: https://www.marlboro.edu/academics/undergraduate/faculty#edelglass_william
Music for this episode comes from George Glew and is called Higher. Listen to more of his music at https://soundcloud.com/georgeglew