Monday, January 5, 2015

Hidden History of Buddhism in Ireland

Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly; The Dhammaloka Project
Devi Danu, a deva, dryad, water nymph, Mother Nature (esjohnson/pinterest)
Danu is an Irish goddess; Danu is also a folkloric Irish band that visited Caltech for Xmas.

Satellite photo of Ireland from space, Four Great Kings (
Fairies realm in the fairy wood with Danu, the Mother Goddess, Ireland (amayodruid).
Research on Buddhism and Ireland
The big new Irish Fest, Fairplex, Pomona
Buddhism and Ireland have a connection? They sure do. As reported by Wisdom Quarterly: American Buddhist Journal, the first Westerner to ordain as a Buddhist monk was not a British chap but an Irish lad who wandered from Ireland to America to California to San Francisco and on to Burma. He is known as Ven. U Dhammaloka. See the Dhammaloka Project.
Dr. Laurence Cox, Maynooth University
Prof. Laurence Cox, Buddhism and Ireland: from the Celts to the counter-culture and beyond. Sheffield: Equinox, September 2013. Full book details can be found here; details of launch events are here.
Brian Bocking, Phibul Choompolpaisal, Laurence Cox, and Alicia Turner (eds.), A Buddhist Crossroads: Pioneer Western Buddhists and Asian Networks 1860-1960. Abingdon: Routledge, August 2014.

Exhibition (physical and virtual)
Add one more to the famous list (
“Encountering Buddhist Asia: sources of Irish knowledge from the sixth to the twenty-first centuries.” Russell Library, Maynooth (April 29-August 23, 2013). A selection of the items from this exhibition can be viewed here.

Talking Books” podcast: Susan Cahill interviews Laurence Cox about Buddhism and Ireland. (Newstalk, 13 April 2014, c, 22 mins -- starts about 6 minutes in).
Irish stamps at the Fairplex (WQ)
Poetic Synergy” podcast: Daithaí O Ciarán with Ann Mulhall, Gabriel Rosenstock, Joseph Lennon, and Laurence Cox discussing the links between Eastern philosophy, religion, and culture, and Irish poetry. (Dublin City FM, 20 February 2013, 28 minutes).

Online articles, chapters, and conference papers
  • Irish dryad (deva)
    Laurence Cox, “Buddhism in Ireland: the Inner Life of World-Systems.” Etudes Irlandaises 39, 2014.
  • Laurence Cox, “A Dissident Orientalism? Irish Buddhism in European Perspective.” Long Room Hub, TCD, February 2014. Full details here; podcast available (iTunes format) here.
  • Laurence Cox, “Buddhism and Ireland.” Irish Times, 14 January 2014.
  • Alicia Turner, “The Bible, the Bottle, and the Knife: Religion as a Mode of Resisting Colonialism for U Dhammaloka.” Contemporary Buddhism 14(1), 2013: 66-77. (Now also available in book from from Routledge).
  • Laurence Cox, “Rethinking Early Western Buddhism: Beachcombers, ‘Going Native,’ and Dissident Orientalism.” Contemporary Buddhism 14 (1), 2013: 116 – 133.
  • Devas love Dharma
    Laurence Cox and Maria Griffin, “The Wild Irish Girl and the ‘Dalai Lama of little Thibet’: the Long Encounter Between Ireland and Asian Buddhism.” 53-73 in Olivia Cosgrove, Laurence Cox, Carmen Kuhling, and Peter Mulholland (eds.), Ireland’s New Religious Movements. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.
  • Laurence Cox, “Plebeian Freethought and the Politics of Anti-Colonial Solidarity: Irish Buddhists in Imperial Asia.” Paper to 15th International Conference on “Alternative Futures and Popular Protest,” Manchester Metropolitan University, 2010.
  • Laurence Cox and Maria Griffin, “Border Country Dharma: Buddhism, Ireland, and Peripherality.” Journal of Global Buddhism 10: 93-125 (2009).
  • John L. Murphy, “Inventing the Concept of Celtic Buddhism: a literary and intellectual tradition.” 74-96 in Olivia Cosgrove, Laurence Cox, Carmen Kuhling, and Peter Mulholland (eds.), Ireland’s New Religious Movements. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.
  • Elizabeth Rowen, “The Buddha and the Cross: the Development of Buddhism in Ireland.” Richter Research Abroad Student Scholarship report. More
Other academic publications and public presentations
The first Western Buddhist monk was Irish (UCC)
Laurence Cox, “‘Beyond the fields we know': Understanding Buddhism and Ireland.” Buddhist Research Seminar, King’s College London, January 2014.
Brian Bocking, “Mirrors in a Reflection? Asian Buddhists from Colonial Ireland, 1863-1913.” Plenary Lecture to Bordering the Borderless: Faces of Modern Buddhism in East Asia conference, Duke University, North Carolina, October 2013.
Brian Bocking and Laurence Cox, “Rewriting the history of UK Buddhism: the first London Buddhist Mission of 1890.” 2nd conference of ISASR (Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions), UCD, May 2013.
Mihirini Sirisena and Laurence Cox, “What Buddhism? Whose Buddhism? John Bowles Daly, Mahinda College and the Buddhist Theosophical Society”. 2nd conference of ISASR (Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions), UCD, May 2013.
Laurence Cox, “Periodising Irish Buddhism”. Paper to Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions conference, UCC (May 2012).
Brian Bocking, “Pioneer Irish Buddhists in Meiji Japan: Condor Pfoundes and U Dhammaloka”. Launch of the Irish Institute for Japanese Studies, UCC, September 2011.
Laurence Cox, “Tall tales, Childhood’s Country, and the Monastery Kitchen: Irish Writers in Buddhist Asia.” Paper for Library Association of Ireland/Rare Books Group seminar on travel literature, National Library of Ireland (November 2010)
Laurence Cox, “Knowledge and study of Buddhism in Ireland before 1970.” Inaugural seminar, Irish Network for Studies in Buddhism, TCD (January 2010)
Laurence Cox, “Arhats in the Attic: the Hidden History of Buddhism and Ireland.” National Museum of Ireland conference “Asian art and Ireland” (November 2009).

Who/what is DANU?
Irish deva Danu, pre-Christian Mother Goddess, nymph (Keith Dillon/

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