Emory Report
March 24, 2008
Volume 60, Number 24


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March 24, 2008

Mandala speaks across boundaries
Agnes Scott College professor Abraham Zablocki’s March 19 lecture on contemporary Tibetan Buddhism couldn’t have been more timely, given against the backdrop of international protests sparked by the 49th anniversary of Tibet’s uprising against China’s invasion.

Standing alongside a sand mandala — which represents the impermanence and inter-connectiveness of life — Zablocki said that Tibetan Buddhism is “booming these days” from Taiwan to Africa, from Israel to the former Soviet block.

“Beyond the political dimension — the mandala speaks to people across cultural boundaries and taps the human imagination,” Zablocki said. “The intersection between the real and imagined Tibet generates a new, vital transnational form of Tibet Buddhism, that reflects people’s inner lives and the genuine spiritual growth that can come through the exploration, study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism.” — Nancy Seideman

Justice urged for Rwandans
The Rwanda genocide of 1994 is a festering wound that can only be healed by bringing those who headed up the massacre to justice, warned Susan Allen, director of Emory’s Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group, at the Sheth Lecture on March 11.

Many of the organizers of the genocide are now living free in the United States and elsewhere, said Allen, who is raising funds to help a Rwandan filmmaker complete a documentary called “Killers Among Us.”

“It’s in everybody’s interests to bring these perpetrators to justice,” Allen said. “If we don’t seize this opportunity [for Rwanda], then all these much more complex situations, like Darfur, can simply not be solved.”
— Carol Clark

Change, stability part of adulthood
“Change and transition is the norm for adults. Remaining just the way you are is the odd thing,” Marshall Duke, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology, told Employee Council members March 19.

“We alternate between periods [of stability] in our lives, called ‘eras,’ about seven or eight years,” he said, and transition, periods of change that last three years or so.

For what maintains our stability during changes, researchers look at family rituals and stories. The way people observe holidays, for example, become ritualized — “and the rituals remain the same no matter where you are in life.” — Leslie King