At Harvard University, twelve esteemed scholars and guests from nine countries came together for a historic event from September 3-4, 2023, the Symposium on the Venerable Cheng Yen’s Philosophy and Leadership. The event was co-hosted by the Tzu Chi Charity Foundation and the Harvard FAS CAMLab, with support from Tzu Chi USA.
Among them is Research Associate Caroline Reeves, from Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Of the two-day event, she says, “it’s just a great opportunity for scholars, practitioners, volunteers to come together, and talk about all the important things that Tzu Chi does and to discuss them in a scholarly way.”
Many who attended agreed that doing so legitimized Tzu Chi’s efforts and Master’s methods, including Venerable Dharma Master De Chen:
“if everyone can gain a better understanding and knowledge of how external experts and scholars view Tzu Chi, it will undoubtedly foster greater recognition and acceptance of Tzu Chi.”
For scholars like Stefania Travagnin, a Reader in Chinese Buddhism at the SOAS University of London, it opens a door of understanding to a whole new audience:
“Something that for me that’s interesting is how she talks about Buddhism without talking about Buddhism, and so being able to attract people who are not Buddhist.”
See more in our latest video.