We will do two things in this course: take in the history, literature, visual imagery, and theoretical pronouncements around the nature of women and gender in Buddhist materials; and cultivate the critical and hermeneutical skills for processing these materials and contributing to a just and woke future. We will read together a variety of Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantric Buddhist texts, displaying repressive, subversive, and liberative visions alike. We will study autobiographical writing of historical women, images of female divinity, and notions of non-binary genders as well as as the third sex. Significant attention will be paid to the contemporary female ordination movement, and to other modern Buddhist efforts for social justice and environmental protection. Lectures may be taped and viewed before class, and small breakout discussion groups will be an important part of the in-class pedagogy. Prior knowledge of Buddhism helpful but not required. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1731.
Faculty: Janet Gyatso
Semester: Full Fall Term
Time: Tues, Thurs, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m. ET