This winter, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Anthony Cerulli began a term as the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence at the celebrated Rochester Zen Center in Rochester, N.Y.
“I have been taking students in my Buddhist Studies classes to the Zen Center since 2009, and I’ve grown to appreciate and admire the work of the Roshi and the Zen Center sangha in the Rochester community and elsewhere,” says Cerulli, who will give lectures to the sangha about Buddhism and issues in Buddhist studies, lead discussions on books about Buddhism in America, and serve as a general adviser on issues pertaining to historical Buddhological issues.
Founded in 1966 by the late Roshi Philip Kapleau, author of “The Three Pillars of Zen,” the center is one of the oldest and largest organizations dedicated to the practice of Zen Buddhism in North America.
Apart from its influence in North America, the Center has members and affiliated groups throughout the United States and in Europe, Mexico and New Zealand. Through its daily meditation services, residential training programs, and introductory workshops, the Center has helped introduce Buddhism into the American mainstream, while simultaneously reshaping and integrating the forms of Zen into American culture.
“I’m also very excited to be a part of the Center’s long and important role in the history of American Buddhism,” explains Cerulli. “Many people tend to associate the west coast, and the Bay Area in particular, with the seminal institutions, events, and people that established and advanced Buddhism in America. Yet, the Rochester Zen Center and its members have been highly influential in the development of, and dissemination of knowledge about, Buddhism (especially Zen) in North America and Europe for over four decades.”
Cerulli joined HWS in 2008. He is currently on a research leave from the Colleges as a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. He spent a large portion of the fall doing fieldwork in Kerala, India, and this spring he will give a month-long seminar at L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. His first book, “Somatic Lessons: Narrating Patienthood and Illness in Indian Medical Literature,” is currently in production with the State University of New York Press and is due out later this year.
For more information about the Center, visit http://www.rzc.org/.