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Lecture by Laurence Cox

February 5, 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

laurence cox with curly brown hair and collar shirt and blazer
Photo by Wendy Cox

Associate professor of sociology at National University of Ireland Maynooth, Dr. Laurence Cox lectures on “Irish Hobo, Buddhist Monk, Anti-colonial Celebrity: The Strange Story of U Dhammaloka/Laurence Carroll” as part of Princeton University’s 2020-21 Fund for Irish Studies series.

Laurence Carroll / U Dhammaloka (1856-1914) was a Dublin-born emigrant, US hobo and Pacific sailor who became a Buddhist monk in Burma and an anti-colonial celebrity active from Sri Lanka to Japan. In this lecture, Cox, co-author of  The Irish Buddhist: the Forgotten Monk who Faced Down the British Empire (Oxford 2020), looks at some of the most dramatic moments in Dhammaloka’s extraordinary life and explores how he brought his Irish and American experience to bear on religion, race and the challenge to Empire in Asia.


This virtual event is free and open to the public. Join the lecture via Zoom Webinar; registration required.



The event includes live closed captions in English. Patrons can join the Zoom Webinar and access captions or connect directly to the captioned event through StreamText using the link below.


If you are in need of other access accommodations in order to participate in this event, please contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date.



Laurence Cox is Associate Professor of Sociology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth and associate researcher at the Collège d’Etudes Mondiales, Paris. One of Europe’s leading specialists on social movements, his work on U Dhammaloka and other early western Buddhists in Asia is well known as part of the transnational scholarly rethinking of how Buddhism became a global religion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Cox has been an invited speaker from Kyoto University to CUNY Graduate Center and from the European University Institute to Ruskin College Oxford. He is founding editor of the global social movement research journal Interface and has twice guest-edited Contemporary Buddhism. In the spirit of Dhammaloka, he has also been a street musician and hitchhiked across Europe, trains activists in the Catalan Pyrenees and runs hot tubs on Dartmoor for Buddhist meditation retreats.

Cox is co-author, with Alicia Turner and Brian Bocking, of The Irish Buddhist: the Forgotten Monk who Faced Down the British Empire (Oxford University Press, 2020). He has published over 160 scholarly works: his ten books include Buddhism and Ireland; A Buddhist Crossroads: Pioneer Western Buddhists and Asian Networks 1860 – 1960; Ireland’s New Religious Movements; and Why Social Movements Matter. With Brian Bocking and Yoshinaga Shin’ichi, he also rediscovered the first Buddhist mission to Europe, led by the Irishman Charles Pfoundes in 1889-92.

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The Fund for Irish Studies affords all Princeton students, and the community at large, a wider and deeper sense of the languages, literatures, drama, visual arts, history, politics, and economics not only of Ireland but of “Ireland in the world.” The series is produced by the Lewis Center for the Arts and the 2020-21 edition of the series is organized by Paul Muldoon.

The Fund for Irish Studies is generously sponsored by the Durkin Family Trust and the James J. Kerrigan, Jr. ’45 and Margaret M. Kerrigan Fund for Irish Studies.



February 5, 2021
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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