Schiffman Lecture Series to feature noted neurological, Zen authority

Dr. James Austin presents “Zen and the Brain” 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 in Launer Auditorium.

Columbia College’s Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Lecture in Religious Studies will feature Dr. James Austin, clinical neurologist, researcher and Zen practitioner, as he presents “Zen and the Brain” at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 in Launer Auditorium on Columbia College’s campus.

Austin is a clinical professor of neurology at the University of Missouri and a professor emeritus of neurology at the University of Colorado Health and Science Center.

Austin’s Zen training began in 1974 while in Kyoto, Japan, where he began studying under the English-speaking Kobori Nanrei Sohaku-Roshi. He has a keen interest in the experimental designs and findings of investigators who are studying meditation and related states of consciousness. His early research background includes publications in the areas of clinical neurology, neuropathology, neurochemistry and neuropharmacology.

Austin is the author of more than 140 professional publications, including the best-selling book Zen and the Brain, which attempts to establish links between the neurological workings of the human brain and meditation. He has written a sequel to Zen and the Brain, titled Zen-Brain Reflections, and is also the author of Chase, Chance and Creativity and Selfless Insight: Zen and the Meditative Transformations of Consciousness.

The Schiffman Lecture in Religious Studies was created to educate students, faculty, staff and the community about religion’s influence on society in the United States and globally. For more information about the lecture, visit Schiffman Lecture Series .