University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Contextual: A Rethinking of the Universal with Maria Heim (Amherst College)

October 14, 2019

An event in the Asian Cosmopolitanisms Lecture Series

A.K. Ramanujan’s classic essay, “Is there an Indian way of thinking?” contrasts what he says are the West’s universalist and classical India’s contextualist/particularist ways of thinking. Using this as a point of departure, I query the assumptions that inform this contrast: the universal and the particular can be read in alternative and dialectical ways such as in Pali Buddhist practices of treating textual contextualization as itself an expression of universalism. I do this by looking at the relationship between two conceptions, the Buddha’s omniscience and textual infinity.

Homer Statue
Wilson 142
4:00PM - 6:00PM