Skip to main content

Edmund Perry Lecture


The Annual Edmund Perry Lecture honors Edmund Perry, who was appointed to Northwestern’s faculty in 1954 and until 1962 was the only full-time faculty member in Religion. He chaired the department during its crucial years of expansion, in which positions were added in several religious traditions. His books include Confessing the Gospel Mark Preached (1957), The Gospel in Dispute: The Relation of Christian Faith to Other Missionary Religions (1958), and A World Theology: The Central Spiritual Reality of Humankind (coauthored, 1991). He had a long-standing interest in Christian-Buddhist dialogue. Named emeritus in 1992, Dr. Perry died in 1998.

Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition

Tuesday, April 30th, 4 pm CT, 2024
Scott Hall, Guild Lounge, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208

Presented by Rima Vesely-Flad, Professor of Religious Studies at Warren Wilson College.


Dr. Rima Vesely-Flad is the author of Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition: The Practice of Stillness in the Movement for Liberation (New York University Press, 2022).  She is the Visiting Professor of Buddhism and Black Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she teaches classes on Buddhism and social justice.  She formerly taught classes in philosopher and social theory, and directed the Peace and Justice Studies program, at Warren Wilson College.

This lecture is drawn from Dr. Rima Vesely-Flad’s 2022 book Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition: The Practice of Stillness in the Movement for Liberation.  It locates the Buddhist interpretations and practices of people of African descent within a genealogy rooted in the Black Radical Tradition and argues that the emphasis on psychological freedom is congruent with Buddhist teachings on liberation.  Dr. Vesely-Flad will furthermore explore how Black Buddhist teachers employ core Buddhist doctrines to evolve a distinctive hermeneutic of gender and sexuality.  Finally, this lecture will examine the implications of Black Buddhist practices for contemporary racial justice movement activists.

The event will be hybrid and guests are welcome to join in-person or virtually. Reception following.

In-Person RegistrationWebinar Registration

Past Lectures

2023  |  2022  |  2021  |  2019  |  2018  |  2015