University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Philiminality > Being and Becoming in Ancient Philosophy: Panel Discussion

Being and Becoming in Ancient Philosophy: Panel Discussion

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What is the nature of ultimate reality according to philosophies in ancient China, India, and Greece? Dr Barua and Dr Hedley of the Divinity Faculty, Prof. Betegh of the Classics Faculty, and Prof. Sterckx of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies discuss the concepts of unity, being and becoming in the global ancient context.

Dr Barua is a Lecturer in Hindu Studies at the Faculty of Divinity. His primary research interests are Hindu Studies and the comparative philosophy of religion. He has investigated how Hindu traditions have developed in the Indian subcontinent from Antiquity to the modern period. He will be speaking about the dialectics of being and becoming between Vedantic Hinduism and classical Buddhism, highlighting the classical debate between Hindu and Buddhist thinkers about what is logically prior – being or becoming.

Based in the Faculty of Classics, Prof. Betegh is the Laurence Professor of Ancient philosophy. His work centres on ancient Graeco-Roman philosophy, in particular on ancient metaphysics, cosmology, theology, and the connections between ancient philosophy and the history of religions.

Dr Hedley is a Reader in Hermeneutics and Metaphysics at the Faculty of Divinity. He is also co-chair of the Platonism and Neoplatonism section of the American Academy of Religion. His research interests include the history of Platonism and Neoplatonism, as well as comparative philosophy of religion. He will address the themes of unity, being and becoming in the context of Neoplatonic Henology.

Prof. Sterckx is Chair of Chinese at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, where he is also the Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization; he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2013. He is an expert in classical and literary Chinese language and philology, cultural history, religion and thought of pre-imperial and early imperial China. He will speak about ‘the Dao of being of itself so’.

This talk is part of the Philiminality series.

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