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We will explore gender and power dynamics in several Buddhist traditions as women pursue enlightenment. How do they wield power despite structures of systematic oppression? What insights can women offer about the enlightenment process? We will examine the contributions and concerns of women in various cultural contexts (Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and North American) and time periods (ancient and modern). Critical analysis of practices, texts, and hermeneutical schemes that foster misogyny and liberate women will guide our journey. Special attention will be given to laying a theoretical foundation in the construction of gender in each cultural and religious context encountered. We will look into the reasons why texts on religion have not always included the voices of women as we investigate ways to uncover them through research techniques and developing hermeneutical strategies. This course appropriate for students from all degree programs.
Seminar format: mini-lectures;
Evaluation methods: facilitate discussion, oral presentation of research, short and focused analytical papers. Maximum enrollment, 15 students

HRPH 4556 : Topics in Buddhist Thought: The Creative Power of Buddhist Women