Catholic theologian James Heisig to discuss Buddhist-Christian dialogue at WFU

James W. HeisigJames W. Heisig, a professor at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, and a fellow and former director of the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, will give the free, public lecture “The Cultural Disarmament of Theology in an Interreligious World: 25 Years of Dialogue with Buddhism in Japan” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Room 102 of Scales Fine Arts Center at Wake Forest University.

Heisig, a Catholic theologian and member of the Divine Word Missionaries, an international community of Catholic missionary priests and brothers founded in 1875, will discuss the dominant cultural biases that Christian theologians bring to dialogue with Buddhists. For the lecture, he will draw on his more than 25 years of experience living and teaching in Japan.

He has authored, edited or translated more than 25 books on Japanese Buddhist philosophy, language and interreligious dialogue. In addition, he has published numerous articles on the subject.

The lecture is presented as a part of the university’s ongoing celebration of the theme for the 2003-2004 academic year, “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community.” The event is sponsored by the university’s religion department and the theme year committee.

The yearlong “Fostering Dialogue” celebration includes several events intended to raise provocative questions about how dialogue is practiced at Wake Forest and within the larger society. Other events scheduled during the year include a special seminar through the university’s communication department focused on dialogue and production of documentaries, a visit and lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, a Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner Day and two film series.

Additional information about the theme year’s events is posted on the “Fostering Dialogue” Web site at The 2003-2004 theme year is the eighth theme year recognized at Wake Forest.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, Speakers