The Numata Center for Buddhist Studies in cooperation with Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts offers an e-learning course on the topic of Asian Buddhist Women. The course consists of a series of lectures by a group of international scholars who will present their research on the situation of women during various periods in the history of Asian Buddhism, based on textual studies and archaeological evidence.
E-Learning Course on Women in Indian Buddhism (2015)
The Numata Center for Buddhist Studies in cooperation with the Women in Buddhism Study Initiative offers an e-learning course on the topic of women in Indian Buddhism. The course consists of a series of lectures by a group of international scholars who will present their research on the situation of women during various periods in the history of Indian Buddhism and in comparison with other Indian religious traditions, based on textual studies and archaeological evidence.
Participants in the class will gain knowledge of the complexity of the situation of women in Indian Buddhism based on current academic research, alerting them to the different facets of the problem of gender discrimination as well as to the agency of women and the strategies women have adopted in order to pursue their aspirations.
E-Learning Course on Bhikkhuni/Bhikshuni Ordination (2014)
The e-learning course to be held in 2014 builds on the foundation of the 1. International Conference on Buddhist Women's Role in the Sangha, which was held at the University of Hamburg in 2007, by continuing the same theme, namely the topic of bhikkhuni/bhikshuni ordination. This topic is of high priority at present in the Theravada and Mulasarvastivada monastic traditions. The course intends to offer sound academic research on the legal questions, based on a study of the relevant Vinaya material, followed by an updated regional survey on the current situation of nuns in the Theravada and Mulasarvastivada traditions.
The first e-learning course would offer a starting point for further e-learning courses to be offered in subsequent semesters to further explore the various themes within historical and modern topics on Women in Buddhism.
The course will begin with the Madhyama-agama version of the foundation of the bhikkhuni order, thereby continuing the e-learning course series of the last three years which have focused on Madhyama-agama discourses. Following this introductory lecture, a series of lectures will cover the topic of bhikkhuni/bhikshuni from the viewpoint of the canonical Vinayas, and, building on this foundation, proceed to present the actual situation of ordained women in detail. The latter series of lectures would focus on bhikkhunis, wherever such an order has come into being, and on the other nun traditions in Asian countries, i.e., the dasasil matas in Sri Lanka, the mae chis in Thailand, the thila shins in Burma and sramanerikas in the Himalayan countries.
Proposed Learning Objectives
Participants in the class will gain knowledge of the three Vinaya schools in regards to bhikkhuni ordination, and, taking an academic approach, develop the ability to analyze the complexities involved in applying the Buddha's ideal of the Fourfold Sangha in the conventional world. Finally, students will learn about the strategies women have adopted in order to pursue their renunciant aspirations, in the context of challenges they have faced due to gender bias.