May 02, 2012

Tricycle Talk with UPenn Professor Justin McDaniel

Today's Tricycle Talk is with Justin McDaniel, a Religious Studies professor at the University of Pennsylvania. A former Buddhist monk who identifies as both a Buddhist and a Catholic, he's got a Buddhist-related academic background of champions: a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies, also from Harvard.

At UPenn this semester, he taught a class called "Living Deliberately: Monks, Saints, and the Contemplative Life," which was featured in an Associated Press article in February. That article caught my eye, and I wanted to hear more about the only college class I've ever heard of that includes taking a vow of silence, meditating, foregoing physical contact, and swearing off the Internet as part of the course requirements (to be clear, the students did not follow all of these practices for the entire semester—the vow of silence, for instance, lasted for a month). The purpose of the class, besides learning about monastic life, was like one big meta-lesson in of course I wanted to talk to Professor McDaniel about it!

Listen to our Tricycle Talk below to hear more about the "Living Deliberately" class. 

Image by Matt Rourke/AP.

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ibsenc's picture

Fascinating. Wish I could have taken a class like this.

Emma Varvaloucas's picture

Me too!