Centuries of Dialogue: East and West


We’re in a series of dialogues.

The University of King’s College is hosting an international public lecture series, Centuries of Dialogue: Asia and the West, in 2014 coordinated by collaborator Douglas Berger.

The series is cross-listed with the Contemporary Studies, Early Modern Studies and History of Science and Technology programmes, and is offered as a credit-class for students at Dalhousie and King’s.

Classes are on Tuesdays from 6:35-8:25 pm in ARCH1B  in the New Academic Building and on Thursday nights from 7:00-9:00 pm in the KTS Lecture Hall, 2nd floor, New Academic Building, with the invited speakers to give their talks during the Thursday sessions.

Scroll here to see the program for guest lectures.

Lecture Series Description

Far from being isolated civilizations that historically had little or no contact with one another until only recently, the cultural complexes of Europe, South and East Asia have undergone major periods of commerce, political conflict and dialogue for at least the last 2,500 years.  This lecture series will explore some of the most important philosophical engagements of Western thinkers from the eighteenth century to the twentieth centuries, such as Leibniz, Montesquieu, Schopenhauer, and Dewey with various aspects of South and East Asian thought, and their attempts to appropriate various aspects, as they understood them, of these traditions, especially their “metaphysical,” “logical,” “scientific” and “ethical” dimensions into their own worldviews and agendas.  We will also explore these very aspects of South and East Asian thought that intrigued modern to contemporary Western thinkers, such as classical Indian scholastic argumentation, Chinese yin-yang theory and ethics in their own intellectual and cultural context, and examine how Western values and projects look in their lights.  Nationally and internationally renowned scholars in related fields will be joining us throughout the term.  Following the journey of recent centuries of dialogue between these civilizations will hopefully prompt further, but better-informed and multi-perspectival reflection on the present and future of Western and Asian intellectual and global relations.

Download the course poster.

Program for Guest Speaker Lectures

Thursday, Sept. 11, 7pm
“China in Enlightenment Political Thought”
Simon Kow
University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada

Thursday, Oct. 2, 7pm
“Rewriting the History of Science and Philosophy in Late Colonial India”
Dhruv Raina
Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
Ruprecht-Karls Universität, Heidelberg, Germany

Thursday, Oct. 16, 7pm
“Yinyang: The Way of Ways”
Robin Wang
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, United States

Thursday, Oct. 23, 7pm
“Confucian China in a Changing World Cultural Order”
Roger Ames
University of Hawai’i at Manoa, United States

Thursday, Nov.6, 7pm
“Indian Logic as Semiotics”
Sundar Sarukkai
Manipal University, Manipal, India

Thursday, Nov. 20, 7pm
“The Brahmin Sannyasi: The Role of Renunciation in Orthodox Hindu Philosophy”
Christopher Austin
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Download the lecture series poster.

See each individual page link for videos of each lecture.