Public Lectures


D. T. Suzuki’s Presentation of the Myōkōnin and Japanese Religious Sensibility

Rev. Dr. Michael Conway (Lecturer, Otani University, Kyoto)

D. T. Suzuki is famous in the West for his introduction of Zen Buddhism in English, but toward the end of his life he became interested in Shin Buddhism. In the mid-1940s, Suzuki wrote several works in which he argued that the myōkōnin, unlettered but insightful followers of Shin Buddhism, were the pinnacle of Japanese religious sensibility. This talk introduces the major features of Suzuki’s presentation of these gures as individuals with profound awareness of the Buddhist truth.

  • Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018
  • Time: 1:00 pm
  • Lecturer: Rev. Dr. Michael Conway (Lecturer, Otani University, Kyoto)
  • Place: Berkeley Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple
  • Address: 1524 Oregon St., Berkeley, CA 94703 [Google Maps]
  • Fee: None (and it’s open to the public)
  • Contact: (510) 843-6933 (Phone) or

[Lecturer’s Biography]

Rev. Dr. Conway was born in Chicago in 1976. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in History in 1997. Soon after, he started attending the Buddhist Temple of Chicago in 1998. In 2003, he entered Otani University’s Graduate School in the Shin Buddhist Studies Major. There, he served as Departmental Assistant in Otani University’s Department for Shin Buddhist Studies from 2009 to 2011. He completed his Ph.D. in Shin Buddhist Studies in 2011. He served as the Managing Editor of The Eastern Buddhist academic journal from 2011 to 2015. He has been a Full Time Lecturer at Otani University since 2015. Rev. Dr. Conway is also an ordained minister of the Shinshū Ōtani-ha (Higashi Honganji).