On the Challenges of Posthumous Editing: Focus on the Works of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Graham M. Schweig, PhD Symposium Organizer
Hosted by The Mira & Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies At the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
To be held in Spring 2020
This conference will bring together about fifteen scholars to examine how the posthumous editing of leading authors within religious communities has been handled and to look at how it could be or should be handled.
Specifically, the theological, ethical, social dimensions will be addressed, and also the legal and professional aspects of publishing will be considered.
The specific instance of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the extensive posthumous editing of his work will be the major focus of this conference.
In the Hare Krishna movement, a controversy has been building for at least two decades regarding the editing of Śrila Prabhupada’s books: after Śrila Prabhupada’s departure from this world, the principal editors claim that his works need fairly extensive editing, both for style and philosophical clarity and consistency, while there are other senior disciples who object to anything more than the absolute minimal editing.
Generally speaking, how much or how little editing should any published author expect of his or her works after they have departed this world? In the case of Śrila Prabhupada’s works specifically, what compelling theological and devotional underpinnings are involved with each side of the issue? What were the various general and also personal instructions given by the author to his followers? What were the challenges for the editors who sought to present his works appropriately to the greater readership?
These and other questions will be addressed by those in the field of textual and historical scholarship on the worldwide Krishna movement and on other areas relevant to the conference theme. The presentations offered at this conference will be compiled and reviewed for publication with a fine academic press.
***This conference will be closed to the public and only those invited scholars who participate in the conference will be present.***
BUDGET FOR HOSTING 15 SCHOLARS ATTENDING SYMPOSIUM
RESEARCH: $8,000.00 Several Vaishnava scholars research in preparation for conference $400.00 Books, supplies, misc. for research $8,400.00 Subtotal