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Dr. Lewis Lancaster is Emeritus Professor of the Department of East Asian Languages at the University of California, Berkeley, and has served as President, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, and Chair of the dissertation committee at University of the West since 1992. He graduated from Roanoke College (B.A.) in 1954 and received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Roanoke in 2007. He is also a 1958 graduate of USC-ST (M.Th.) and a 1968 graduate of the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D.). He received an Honorary Doctorate of Buddhist Studies from Vietnam Buddhist University in 2011.


Dr. Lancaster has published over 75 articles and reviews and has edited or authored numerous books including Prajnaparamita and Related Systems, The Korean Buddhist Canon, Buddhist Scriptures, Early Ch’an in China and Tibet, and Assimilation of Buddhism in Korea. He also founded the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative to use the computer-based technology to map the spread of Buddhism from the remote past to the present. Dr. Lancaster was a key figure in the creation of descriptive catalogue and digitization of the Korean Buddhist Canon. He was awarded the 2014 Grand Award from the Korean Buddhist Order for his contribution to Buddhism.


"Encountering Life"

Fall 2021



Dr. Lewis Lancaster begins a new lecture series, titled "Encountering Life," with a lecture on cause. The schedule for the 5-part lecture series is as follows:


Cause: One of Life's Mysteries

August 31, 2021 | Video

Desire: Measure of Motivations

September 28, 2021 | Video

Reincarnation: Body and Spirit

October 26, 2021 | Video

Compassion: A Natural State of Cognition

November 23, 2021 | Video

Self: Active and Passive Agent
December 14, 2021 | Video

"Buddhism as a Lived Experience"

Fall 2020 - Spring 2021


Using a vast store of knowledge and experience, as well as drawing from more than six decades of research, Dr. Lewis Lancaster offers a unique lecture series on applying Buddhist values and principles to our fast-changing modern world. How is an ancient religion over 2,600 years old relevant in our techno-centric existence? Dr. Lancaster will convince us that not only is Buddhism still relevant, it is in fact well-equipped to confront our current issues.


Behavior: Acts of Consequence

June 15, 2021 | Video

Enlightenment: A Distant Beacon

May 18, 2021 | Video

Wisdom: Self-knowledge Transformed

April 20, 2021 | Video

Concentration: Strength of Keeping Foucs

March 16, 2021 | Video

Giving: Purity of Purpose

February 16, 2021 | Video

Emptiness: Not Nothing

January 19, 2021 | Video

Change: The Unshakable Process of Vanishing

December 22, 2020 | Video

Detachment: Living in the Present Age

November 24, 2020 | Video

Our 21st Century World: Viewing Through Buddhist Lens

October 15, 2021 | Video

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