For the past eight years, the Vedanta Society of Kansas City, in conjunction with the AUM Foundation, has presented its Annual Arjun Kumar Sharma Memorial Lecture series. Each time the Society has invited notable scholars to speak on timely topics engaging to anyone with an interest in spiritual life. Vedanta Society events are free and open to all.
“Seeing God with open eyes” is the 2017 topic, and the date is Saturday morning, October 7 at 10:30 a.m..
The speakers are Jeffery D. Long, Ph.D. Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania, and Swami Chetanananda, monk of the Ramakrishna Order of India.
The professor and the swami will speak at Regnier Auditorium, KU Edwards Campus at 127th and Quivira in Overland Park, Kansas. Music by Viswa Mohan will precede the lecture, and a reception will follow.
Friday evening, October 6, before the talk at KU Edwards Campus, there will be a chance to get to know Dr. Long when he talks about “My Journey to Vedanta,” at the Vedanta Society’s home at 8701 Ward Parkway, located across the street from the shopping center. Swami Chetanananda, who is the head minister of the Vedanta Societies of St Louis and Kansas City, will also talk about “The Oral Tradition of Vedanta.” Meditation begins at 6:30 p.m., the talks begin at 7:30, and a there will be an informal buffet supper at 8:30.
Dr. Long is uniquely positioned, as a Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, and as a practitioner of an Asian religion, to understand the triangular dissonance that sometimes exists between Western academics, non-Western theologians, and devotees from diverse cultures. He has written three books, A Vision for Hinduism: Beyond Hindu Nationalism, Jainism: An Introduction, and The Historical Dictionary of Hinduism.
Dr. Long, who was born in Missouri, and raised a Roman Catholic, is an enthusiastic conversationalist, whether he is talking about Whitehead’s process philosophy, Sanskrit or Star Wars. He has collaborated with some of VSKC’s previous Sharma lecturers, Arvind Sharma and Phillip Goldberg. Please mark your calendars for a fascinating weekend of sharing ideas and conversation with Dr. Long.