Cultural Histories of Meditation
Main conference at Halvorsbøle outside of Oslo
Arrangement committee: Svend Davanger, Halvor Eifring, Terje Stordalen, University of Oslo
This first-ever international conference comparing meditative traditions globally was held in Norway in May 2010, with financial support from the University of Oslo, the National Tsing Hua University and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. Forty recognised scholars from Europe, North America and Asia presented papers on meditative practices within Western monotheistic mysticism, Indic yoga and tantra, the various strands of Buddhism, as well as Daoism and Confucianism; cognitive and biomedical perspectives on meditation were also represented.
From left: Laurence Fine, Terje Stordalen and Michael Swartz. Photo: Torbjørn Hobbel
The main goal of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary work is to establish a more culture-independent framework for describing and analyzing meditative practices.This will in turn improve our understanding of the relation between technical practice and cultural interpretation. The papers provided at the conference provided interesting and valuable preliminary insight to these topics.
The conference resulted in four publications:
Participants at the Cultural Histories of Meditation at Halvorsbøle near Oslo. Photo: Torbjørn Hobbel