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Buddhist Philosophy Unit

Call for Proposals

The Buddhist Philosophy Unit is awarded two 2 hour sessions, plus a third co-sponsored session; or one 2 session and two 90 minute sessions, plus a co-sponsored session. In 2021, two of our allotted sessions (2 hour roundtable and 90 minutes papers session) will be filled by panels that were accepted in 2020 but postponed due to the move online (“Mind-Body Philosophy in Buddhism” and “Roundtable on Buddhist Philosophy in Philosophy Departments: Training Students, Hiring, Teaching”). Therefore, we strongly encourage proposals for co- or quad-sponsored panels this year, and are unlikely to be able to accept individual paper proposals. The AAR presidential theme for 2021 is: "Religion, Poverty and Inequality: Contemplating Our Collective Futures.” Panels that reflect some aspect of this theme are especially encouraged.

The CFP so far is listed below together with “point-people” (people who have agreed to network interested parties, but will not necessarily organize the panel or draft and submit the proposal).

What is Buddhist Philosophy?: Global Perspectives - Sonam Kachru ( - This panel is a joint effort by the members of the Steering Committee. It is conceived as a virtual panel (on Zoom perhaps with an in-person audience) featuring globally and ethnically diverse perspectives on Buddhist philosophy. It, together with some of the proposals listed below, reflects the Buddhist Philosophy Unit's commitment to promoting greater diversity within the Unit at the AAR and in the field.

Buddhist Notions of Time – Roy Tzohar (

Positive (or productive) influences between Hindu and Buddhist Thought – Michael Allen (

Philosophical perspectives of/on Soka Gakkai in the US – Jed Forman (

How to Teach on Race in Buddhist Studies or How to Teach on Racism from Buddhist Philosophical Perspectives – Karin Meyers (

Roundtable on Yancy and McRae, "Buddhism and Whiteness" edited volume – Connie Kassor (

Buddhism and Stoicism – Arlette Poland (

Binary Reflection: Thinking through/with/against binary conceptions in cosmological, ritual and philosophical terms – Jennifer Eichman (

Statement of Purpose

This Unit provides a forum for the scholarly study of Buddhist philosophical thought in its various forms across all regions and traditions of the Buddhist world. We seek to develop tightly organized sessions that deal not only with intra-Buddhist philosophical issues — such as those involving major philosophical traditions and major thinkers and texts — but also with topics involving the relationship between Buddhist philosophy and other traditions of philosophical thought, both ancient and modern. The Unit likewise provides a venue to examine the relationship between Buddhist thought and Buddhist practice. We encourage work on the full range of Buddhist philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, soteriology, ethics, and philosophy of mind.

The Buddhist Philosophy Unit is committed to promoting greater diversity and inclusion within the Unit and in the field at large.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members

Review Process Comments

The review process works well, but perhaps more effort can spent in follow-up after proposals are accepted (see comment below in Best Practices).