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Philosophy and Religion

Kevin Brien

Professor of Philosophy
Education
  • B.A., Boston University, 1964
  • M.A., Boston University, 1968
  • Ph.D., Boston University, 1978

Biography

Kevin M. Brien, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, has been with the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Washington College since 1986. Before his years with Washington College he taught for many years at five other colleges and universities.

His main areas of specialization and interest are: Eastern Philosophy and Religion, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Marxism, Philosophy of Nietzsche, and History of Philosophy.

His book Marx, Reason, and the Art of Freedom: Second Edition was published in 2006 by Prometheus/Humanity Books.

 

Recent Paper Publications

  • “A Meditation on Universal Dialogue” in the Polish journal DIALOGUE AND UNIVERSALISM published by the Polish Academy of Sciences in Summer 2013.
  • “Blending Traditions: On Confucianism, Taoism, Chan Buddhism, and Humanistic Marxism” in Dialogue Among Cultures: Peace, Justice and Harmony published by Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, China in Fall 2012.
  • “Free and Easy Wandering: After Zhuangzi” (in Chinese translation) in the Journal of Yibin University, Yibin, China in Fall 2012.
  • “Marx’s Radical Humanism” in INTERNATIONAL CRITICAL THOUGHT: A Journal of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China—and published by Routledge in June 2011.
  • “Humanistic Marxism and Buddhism: Complimentaries” published in the JOURNAL OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION in October 2010.
  • “Humanistic Marxism and World Peace” published in the Greek journal SKEPSIS: A JOURNAL FOR PHILOSOPHY AND INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH in Summer 2010.
  • “Rethinking Marx and the Spiritual” published in the American journal RETHINKING MARXISM in January 2009.
  • “Marx and the Living Flower” published in the Greek journal SKEPSIS: A JOURNAL FOR PHILOSOPHY AND INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH in Summer 2008.
  • “Marx’s Dialectical-Empirical Method of Explanation” published in the Venezuelan journal UTOPIA Y PRAXIS: LATINOAMERICANA in 2007.
  • “Humanistic Marxism and the Transformation of Reason” published in the Polish journal DIALOGUE AND UNIVERSALISM in Fall 2006. [Published jointly by the Polish Academy of Sciences and Warsaw University.]
  • “Buddhismus” (in German translation) in MARX-GLOSSAR, Ed. Christoph Henning, published by Edition Freitag, Berlin in Spring ‘06.
  • “Humanistic Marxism and the Transformation of Reason” published in the Indonesian journal MELINTAS in Spring ‘06. [Published by Universitas Katolik Parahyangan in Bandung, Indonesia.]
  • “Buddhism and Marxism: Ironic Affinities” published in the Polish journal DIALOGUE AND UNIVERSALISM in Fall 2004.
  • “To Believe?—Or Not to Believe?: A Dialogue Concerning Religion, Politics, and Suffering” published in the Greek journal SKEPSIS: A JOURNAL FOR PHILOSOPHY AND INTER-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH in Spring 2004.

Recent Paper Presentations

  • “Confucian versus Kantian Ethics” presented at an International and Interdisciplinary Congress of the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion held in January 2012 at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.
  • Formal invited commentary on a paper by Xiufen Lu, called “Nationalism, Iconoclasm, and the Traditional Chinese Thinking in the Work of Li Dazhao, ” presented at a conference of the Association of Chinese Philosophers in America held in December 2011 at the annual American Philosophical Association meetings in Washington, D.C.
  • “Aesthetics and Spirituality: Taoism, Chan Buddhism, Humanistic Marxism” presented at a specially invited event held in June 2011 at the Beijing International Studies University in Beijing, China.
  • “Atheism & Spirituality: Buddhism, Taoism, and Humanistic Marxism” presented at an International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion held in May 2011 at the University of Yibin, Sichuan, China.
  • “Rationality, Spirituality, and Morality: Buddha versus Immanuel Kant, ” presented at a Congress of the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion held in April 2011 at Davis-Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.
  • “Marx’s Radical Humanism” presented at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China in April 2010. This presentation was made at the invitation of the Institute of Science, Technology, and Society at Tsinghua University to mark the dedication of the “Robert S. Cohen Library” at this University in honor of Kevin Brien’s mentor, Dr. Robert S. Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Philosophy at Boston University.
  • “Blending Traditions: Taoism, Confucianism, Chan Buddhism, Humanistic Marxism” presented in July 2010 at the VIII Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD) held at Beijing International Studies University in Beijing, China.
  • “Blending Traditions: Taoism, Confucianism, Chan Buddhism, Humanistic Marxism” presented in July 2010 at the VIII Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD) held at Beijing International Studies University in Beijing, China.
  • “Contrasting East/West Views of Reason: Aristotle and Kant versus Lao Zi, Kong fuzi, and Zhu Xi” presented in July 2010 at the VIII Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD) at Beijing International Studies University in Beijing, China.
  • “Marx’s Radical Humanism” presented in July 2010 as an invited paper at a special session of the Academy of Marxism & the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, China.
  • The Form of the Good: Plato versus Marx” presented in July 2010 at the XXth International Symposium of the Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture held in Olympia, Greece.
  • “Toward a Humanistic Marxist Psychology” presented in August 2010 at the Marxism and Psychology Conference held at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.
  • “Marx’s Radical Humanism and World Peace” presented in March 2010 at the International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Global Ethics, Human Rights, and Global Health held at Davis & Elkins College, West Virginia.
  • “Marx as Radical Humanist” presented in January 2010 at a Congress of the Indian Radical Humanist Association held in Calcutta, India.
  • “The Categorical Imperative and World Peace: Marx versus Kant” presented in December 2009 at a Congress of the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion held in Calcutta, India.
  • “Spirituality: East and West” presented in December 2009 at a Congress of the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion held in Calcutta, India.
  • “Contrasting East/West Views of Reason: Aristotle and Kant versus Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Zhu Xi ” presented in August 2009 at the XXth International Symposium of the Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture held in Olympia, Greece.
  • “Blending Traditions: Taoism, Confucianism, Chan Buddhism, and Humanistic Marxism” presented in May 2009 at the annual congress of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy held at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA
  • Away with all Gods!—Perhaps: But not with all Spiritualities” presented in December 2008 at the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association held in Philadelphia.
  • “Marx and the Living Flower” (long version) presented in August 2008 at the XIXth International Symposium of the Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture held in Olympia, Greece.
  • “World Peace and Humanistic Marxism” presented in March 2008 at Fireflies Intercultural Center in Bangalore, India.
  • “Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Humanistic Marxism” presented in July 2008 at the XXII World Congress of Philosophy held at the Seoul National University in Seoul South Korea.
  • “Contemporary Chinese Philosophy” presented in July 2008 at the XXII World Congress of Philosophy held at the Seoul National University in Seoul South Korea.
  • “Marx and the Living Flower” (short version) presented in July 2008 at the XXII World Congress of Philosophy held at the Seoul National University in Seoul South Korea.
  • “The Need for a Cross-Cultural Jihad of Ijtihad” presented in December 2007 at the annual Congress of the American Philosophical Association held in Baltimore, MD.
  • “World Peace and Humanistic Marxism” presented in June 2007 at the Seventh World Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD) held in Hiroshima, Japan.
  • “Lao Tzu, Heraclitus, and Native American Spirituality” presented in June 2007 at an International Symposium on Dialogue: Literature and Philosophy held at Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China.
  • “Humanistic Marxism and Freedom” presented in June 2007 at the Institute for Transcultural Studies under Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China.
  • “World Peace: Humanistic Marxism & Buddhism” presented in December 2006 at the Interim World Philosophy Congress held at the University of Delhi, India.
  • “World Peace & Humanistic Marxism” presented in October 2006 at a Rethinking Marxism Congress held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • “Two Bodhisattvas: Buddha and Marx” presented in 2006 at the Fourth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities held at the University of Carthage, Tunisia.
  • “Humanistic Marxism and Buddhism: Ironic Affinities” presented in January 2006 at Benares Hindu University in Varanasi, India.
  • “Humanistic Marxism and the Transformation of Reason” presented in July 2005 at the Fourth World Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue in Helsinki, Finland.

Prof. Brien is currently working on a new book project tentatively called “Toward a New Liberation Spirituality.” His on-going work is a long-term project aimed at a critical synthesis of Marx, Nietzsche, and Buddhism.