This just posted to the Wisdom Pub. podcast.
In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Charles Hallisey, scholar and beloved professor at Harvard Divinity School. Charlie’s research centers on Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, Pali language and literature, Buddhist ethics, and literature in Buddhist culture. His most recent book is Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women (Harvard University Press, 2015). In this fascinating conversation, Charlie shares his earliest encounters with the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka and the ways in which his most revered teachers have left lasting impressions on him and his life’s philosophy. He mentions by name some of his teachers who introduced him to the human heritages of Buddhism in Sri Lanka: John Ross Carter, Mahinda Palihawadana, Kenneth Morgan, B.M. Kiribanda, P.B. Meegaskumbura, and especially G.D. Wijayawardhana. Charlie also talks about the study of Buddhism in academia as a process of calling oneself into question and how this factors into his life as both a student and teacher. Lastly, Charlie delves deeply into the world of reading Buddhist scripture and literature and suggests ways we might reimagine our engagement and interpretation of texts in radically new, inspiring, and ethically conscious ways.