Special Lecture Fri Dec 26

Learning from


A Sixth-Century Buddhist Rationalist

A  public talk by Malcolm David Eckel from Boston University

at The Center for Ethics of Science and Technology

Room 608, Boromratchakumari Bldg., Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University

1:00 to 3:00 pm Friday December 26

Free of charge, no reservation necessary.

Abstract for the talk is as follows:

Bhavaviveka (ca 500-560 CE) lived in a time of unusual ferment in the history of Indian Buddhist thought.  The Mahayana was developing as a vigorous and self-conscious intellectual force, while the traditions of the eighteen schools (nikaya) continued to resist the innovations of the Mahayana.  Bhaviveka’s “Verses on the Heart of the Middle Way,” along with their commentary, give a detailed and lively account of the controversies that shaped Buddhist thought in this period.  They illuminate aspects of Buddhist thought that, until now, have been poorly understood, and they challenge us to think of Buddhist philosophy in innovative ways.

About the Speaker

Malcolm David Eckel is the current Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. He earned two bachelors degrees: one in English at Harvard University and another in Theology at Oxford University. Eckel received his masters in Theology at Oxford and his PhD at Harvard in Comparative Religion.He has held positions at Ohio Wesleyan University, Middlebury College in Vermont, and later at the Harvard Divinity School as the Acting Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions and now teaches courses specializing in eastern religions.

The Metcalf Award for Teaching Excellence, Boston University’s highest award for teaching, was awarded to Eckel in 1998.

Among his publications are

  • To See the Buddha: A Philosopher’s Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness (1994)
  • Buddhism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places (2002)
  • Jnanagarbha’s Commentary on the Distinction Between the Two Truths (1987).


The meeting is a 15 minute walk from Siam BTS Station.