BAR HARBOR — Hugh Curran will make a presentation on Buddhist views of nonharming and the vows invoked to protect all sentient beings at the first winter Human Ecology Forum in McCormick Lecture Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 4:10 p.m. The event is free. All are welcome.
Curran, a teacher in the University of Maine Peace and Reconciliation Studies program, will reflect on his personal experiences on a mink farm in Canada and later a dairy farm. Transformation stories of nonhuman animals becoming human found in world literature, such as the Jataka Tales from India, early Irish literature and the Welsh Mabinogion, will be reviewed. Ethical issues concerning animals that are a core element in traditional storytelling also will be explored.
Curran is a scholar born in Donegal, Ireland, and raised in Canada. He was a Buddhist monastic for some years and later became the director of a homeless shelter. He has been teaching for 15 years at the University of Maine. Curran leads retreats and is on the board of directors at Morgan Bay Zendo in Surry.
In the summer of 2017, Curran gave a talk entitled “A Celtic and Buddhist Interpretation of Animal Ethics” at the Oxford University Centre for Animal Ethics, which inspired him to become more deeply engaged in the issue.
The COA Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.