2014 Mednick Award to Send Emmanuel to Japan
Virginia Wesleyan College Professor of Philosophy Steven Emmanuel has been awarded the 2014 Maurice L. Mednick Memorial Fellowship by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC). The $2,000 grant will support Emmanuel’s summer 2014 travel to Kyoto, Japan to conduct field research for a paper entitled “Zen Buddhism and Japanese Martial Tradition.” He has been given special permission to attend a rare meeting of Japan’s most esteemed practitioner-teachers of the samurai art of the sword. While in Japan, Emmanuel will also collect digital images of the great Zen temples, gardens, monuments and other historical sites of the Edo, or Tokugawa, period to create a teaching module that will support several of his courses with content related to Zen Buddhism. The research will lead to a presentation at the April 2015 ASIANetwork conference in St. Louis, Missouri. In an official nomination letter, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy O’Rourke writes: “Dedicated to principles of reflection and reconciliation, Dr. Emmanuel is investigating the intersections of Zen Buddhism and warfare. The 2014 Mednick Memorial Fellowship will enable him to pursue this research at the same time that it contributes to the College’s larger mission, which is to ‘be a supportive community that is committed to social responsibility, ethical conduct, higher learning, and religious freedom.’” Emmanuel has been a professor at VWC for more than two decades. His research interests lie mainly in moral and religious philosophy (East and West) and comparative ethics. He is the author of Kierkegaard and the Concept of Revelation (State University of New York Press, 1995) and editor of several volumes for Wiley-Blackwell, including A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (2013).