Although religion is commonly thought to divide people, the Peacemakers hosted a forum on Oct. 26 about Buddhism to bring students together to open a dialogue.

Dr. Kenneth Faber was present at “Buddhist Insights on Peace & Love,” to highlight details of his own personal journey with Buddhism. His initial interest in Buddhism was sparked by his involvement in martial arts at a young age.

Faber most recently studied under Venerable Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche at the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center (PBC). Although the PBC is based in New York, Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Rinpoche has visited Nashville before.

Faber earned his doctorate degree in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. He also taught at Belmont University and Austin Peay State University.

Faber introduced the program by discussing his background as well as major parts of Buddhism. Some of these components included the four brahmavihārās and the six pāramitas.

Faber also explained Buddhism from a scholarly perspective. His background in philosophy allows him to detail how the area of study relates to Buddhism.

In religious-philosophical studies, students can expect to learn about various principles between different religions. Questions regarding peace relations, virtue, and violence in Buddhism were also covered in the forum.

However, in line with the Peacemakers’ mission, Faber centered the talk on how the act of compassion was connected to both subjects at hand. The intersection where philosophy and Buddhism relate is also reflective of the Peacemakers’ call to action to incite peace across the campus.

For example, the idea of karuna is a Buddhist concept that emphasizes compassion. Karuna is also studied in philosophy in questions of compassion versus pity. Philosophers and Tibetan Buddhist practitioners are not the only sources of education in this conversation.

The Peacemakers are also working on more efforts to promote peace, human rights, and compassion across campus and the global community as a whole.

After all, as Faber emphasized to the Peacemakers’ crowd, “How can you have joy if others are suffering?”