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Receiving and Giving: Buddhist Women Past, Present and Future

October 14, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Institute of Buddhist Studies is pleased to announce this year’s Numata Lecture, Receiving and Giving: Buddhist Women Past, Present and Future. It will be held in conjunction with the annual Federation of Buddhist Women Association’s (FBWA) meeting on Friday, October 14 at 1:00pm.

Inspired by the concept of shinjin, the theme of this event focuses on the reciprocal dynamics of compassionate relationships.

Dr. Paula Arai will explore how the activities and teachings of Buddhist women might inspire and guide us as we learn from the past, engage in the present, and envision the future.

Dr. Arai will be joined by respondents Rev. Dr. Mutsumi Wondra and Dr. Vanessa Sasson and moderator Nancy G. Lin of the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

The lecture will be held on zoom and registration is required: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJItc-uopj0uG9Smg2oOeow40DzbthN67E_S




Dr. Paula K.R. Arai holds the Urmila Gopal Singhal Professorship in Religions of India at Louisiana State University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University in 1993. In the following years, she taught at Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, and Carleton College. In 2007, she joined the Religious Studies faculty at LSU. She is also a member of the faculties of Asian Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Her first book, Women Living Zen, changes the face of Zen scholarship with the restoration of women to historical accounts and a reassessment of religious practice and institutional patterns in light of prevailing gender relationships. Her second book, Bringing Zen Home, is an ethnography that focuses on the healing dimension of ritualized activities embedded in the daily lives of women in contemporary Japan. Her third book, Painting Enlightenment: Healing Visions of the Heart Sutra—The Buddhist Art of Iwasaki Tsuneo introduces the oeuvre of Japanese Buddhist research scientist Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002). Iwasaki created an artistic genre that integrates Buddhist scripture into images; yet it does not depend on reading—nor even an investment in a particular religious institution—to communicate a wisdom and vision aimed to empower people to make meaning out of personal and global challenges facing our modern world. She is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Practice, which extends the purview of Buddhist Studies to take seriously the lived application of the Dharma. Drawing on insights gained through working on these volumes, A Little Book of Zen Healing: Japanese Rituals for Beauty, Harmony, and Love (summer of 2023) aims to empower a general audience to be creative and integrate healing ways into daily life.

Rev. Dr. Mutsumi Wondra is the resident minister of the Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) in California and a research fellow at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, where she teaches the history of Shin Buddhist tradition. She was born in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Kyoto Women’s University founded by Lady Takeko Kujo. Among other publications, she recently co-translated Leaves of My Heart by Lady Takeko Kujo.
Dr. Vanessa R. Sasson is a professor of Religious Studies at Marianopolis College. Her academic publications include the edited volume Little Buddhas: Children and Childhood in Buddhist Texts and Traditions. She recently published the novel Yasodhara and the Buddha and is now working on the sequel, focused on Gotami’s request for ordination.
Dr. Nancy G. Lin is Associate Professor of Tibetan and South Asian Studies and Buddhist Chaplaincy at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. She recently co-edited Water Moon Reflections: Essays in Honor of Patricia Berger together with three other woman scholars.



October 14, 2022
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Zoom Webinar