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Halkyon Academy

​ Nishitani Keiji
Religion and Nothingness

7 Week Masterclass

In this masterclass, we will consider the most important thoughts and ideas of the Japanese philosopher Nishitani Keiji. We will read and discuss his major treatise “Religion and Nothingness”. The central motive of this course will be the fundamental problem of Nishitani‘s thought: nihilism.

The course is developed and taught by Daniel Zaruba, Headmaster of Japanese Studies at the Halkyon Academy. You find details on enrolment at the bottom of this page.

Live group seminars commence end of September 2022. More details soon. Download the Study Guide today so you hear from us when we open enrolment!


Course Overview

Following in the footsteps of Nishitani we will closely examine the problem of nihilism and aim to understand how Nishitani attempted to overcome it, namely by confronting Western philosophy with the Buddhist concept of emptiness Śūnyatā.

In doing so, we will also take other issues into question, such as the nature of God, the mutual opposition between science and religion, and the fundamental presuppositions of Western metaphysics.

Topics we will discuss

  • Absolute nothingness, True Suchness and Śūnyatā

  • Nishitani‘s complex critique of Nietzsche and modern existentialism

  • The relationship of East and West

  • Time

  • His account of the encounter between science and religion

  • Nishitani‘s three field topology


Your Teacher: Daniel Zaruba

Daniel is a student and teacher of East Asian studies in Vienna and Headmaster of Japanese Thought at Halkyon. His academic interests include existentialism, nihilism, the condition of late modern subjectivity, religious philosophy and inter religious dialogue, and the conflict between science and religion. Daniel spent a year studying in Kyoto in Japan and speaks Japanese. Daniel has been a member of the Halkyon guild since early 2020.

At Halkyon he is also in charge of organising and running several reading groups. 

Choose Your Tier and Enrol



Life-Time Access to 7 Lectures for Self-Study. Study at your own pace.

You also get access to all future additions to the course.


(Plus VAT)


Lectures plus 8 Live Group Seminars

Life-Time Access to All Lectures for Self-Study. Plus  8 live group seminars starting August 21st, 2021. You can also give a talk of your own at the ultimate seminar and get access to the Halkyon Forum. 


(Plus VAT)

Currently closed

Lectures, Group Seminars & 8 Private Tutorials

All from lower tiers plus 8 private 1-1 tutorials with Daniel Zaruba. You can use this time to discuss the readings in more detail, to meditate, and to get comments on your own work like essays or other creative endeavours.


(Plus VAT)

Currently closed
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