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Confronting Mortality

Dr. John Dunne + Dr. Sheldon Solomon

Saturday, April 11, 2020
3:00 PM–4:30 PM

Awareness of mortality is a central aspect of Buddhist practice. Most of us are unable to reconcile our self-preservation instinct with the knowledge that death is inevitable and to some extent unpredictable. The result: terror, with sometimes surprising outcomes.

Dr. Sheldon Solomon, a professor of psychology at Skidmore College who specializes in Terror Management Theory, meets with Dr. John Dunne, an expert in Tibetan Buddhism at the University of Wisconsin, to see how Buddhist contemplations of mortality and impermanence might alter the effects of our otherwise unconscious terror of death.

This program is presented with the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

About the Speakers

John Dunne holds the Distinguished Chair in Contemplative Humanities at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin”“Madison, where he is also a professor in the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures. His work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with cognitive science and psychology. His publications appear in venues ranging across both the humanities and the sciences, and they include works on Buddhist philosophy, contemplative practices, and their empirical examination and interpretation within scientific contexts. John Dunne speaks in both academic and public contexts, and he occasionally teaches for Buddhist communities.

Sheldon Solomon is Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College. His studies of the effects of the uniquely human awareness of death on behavior are supported by the National Science Foundation and Ernest Becker Foundation, and featured in the documentary film Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality. He is co-author of In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror and The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Sheldon is an American Psychological Society Fellow and a recipient of an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation and a Lifetime Career Award by the International Society for Self and Identity.

Lead support for Brainwave is provided by Science Sandbox, an initiative of Simons Foundation, and by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Major support is provided by Gerry Ohrstrom, Rasika and Girish Reddy, and Noah P. Dorsky.

Program support is provided by Eileen Caulfield Schwab, Eva and Yoel Haller, Cheryl Henson, and Heather Beth Henson.

All tickets have been refunded. Please contact with Box Office at 212-620-5000 ext. 344 with questions.

Tickets: $28

Member Tickets: $22.40

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