James Barnett Lecture Series in Humanistic Anthropology Understanding Religious Experience

Trying Not to Try: Cooperation, Trust and the Paradox of Spontaneity

Edward Slingerland (University of British Columbia)

Edward Slingerland (University of British Columbia)

April 21, 2015

Edward Slingerland received a B.A. from Stanford in Asian Languages (Chinese), an M.A. from UC Berkeley in East Asian Languages (classical Chinese), and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University. His research specialties and teaching interests include Warring States (5th-3rd c. B.C.E.) Chinese thought, religious studies (comparative religion, cognitive science and evolution of religion), cognitive linguistics (blending and conceptual metaphor theory), ethics (virtue ethics, moral psychology), evolutionary psychology, the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences, and the classical Chinese language. His first trade book, Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity, was released by Crown (Random House) in March 2014. His current primary work in progress is an academic monograph with the working title Body and Mind in Early China: Beyond the Myth of Holism, an article-length version of which was recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Other recent publications include Creating Consilience: Integrating the Sciences and the Humanities (co-edited by Prof. Mark Collard of SFU), a statement on the importance of a “second wave” of science-humanities cooperation, and articles including a qualitative coding analysis of ancient Chinese texts published in Cognitive Science, a response to the situationist critique of virtue ethics published in Ethics, and the article “Metaphor and Meaning in Early China,” which was recently awarded the 2012 Annual Best Essay award from the journal Dao.

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