The Centre for the Study of Religion, NUIG in conjunction with the Moore Institute, NUIG presents Buddhism, the Self and Neo-Liberalism: a Discussion with Eilís Ward author of Self (Cork University Press, 2021).
Dr. Eilís Ward, a former lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI, Galway, a social scientist and long-standing Zen practitioner, will read from and discuss her recent book Self (Cork University Press 2022).
This book argues that we have got it wrong in the West with our belief in a ‘self’ that is autonomous and separate from others, exemplified by the entrepreneurial self: always on, always positive and always self-improving. This is the neoliberal self, a particular creature of late capitalism. However, as argued here, this view is harmful to us. It is the source of much of our suffering. Proposing as an antidote a Zen Buddhist account of the self, the book points to the possibility of true human liberation and a kinder world for all. In Zen, the self is not separate from others and our individual and collective suffering is intimately bound together.