The overall theme for the lectures this spring is moral and political leadership in Asia. After the tsunami catastrophe in 2004 religious leadership became pivotal and for many individual survivors religion became their lifeline. Two lectures will address Buddhist leadership in the aftermath of the tsunami in Thailand and in Sri Lanka. In Burma, the ongoing struggle for democracy is personalized and founded in Buddhist ethics. Two lectures will address charisma, power, notions of moral and leadership in Burma and Thailand. The lectures will present ethnic minorities, case studies of Burmese Buddhist monks, kings and politicians. Buddhist leadership is a central issue in the relationship between China and Tibet. One lecture will focus on the Dalai Lama.
In post-war Japan, an effective political leadership depended on how effectively a person could operate their environment. The new generation of Japanese leaders today meet the challenges of a more individualistic leadership where personal appeal is of increasing importance. The lectures on aspects of leadership in Japan will address symbolic leadership, political leadership and generational change. The concept of leadership as an academic discipline in cultural contexts will be elaborated in one lecture.
Focus Asia will also show three documentaries, two about the invited Buddhist monk Phrakhru Suwatthithammarat, and the third about Tibet.
The Focus Asia lecture series will take place in Knuten Hall, Lundia Hotel, Knut den Stores torg 2. The lectures are open to the general public and entry is free of charge.