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Theme: The Image of Women in Buddhist History

The Institute of Chinese Buddhist Studies (ICBS) is pleased to announce the ICBS Fall 2012 Young Scholar Seminar. The seminar has been organized to provide a platform for graduate students and young scholars to elevate their academic excellence and communication skills. The papers that will be presented at the seminar were written about a large variety of topics including Buddhist nuns and laywomen, ordination for nuns, the feminine principle in psychoanalysis, Buddhist female healers, Buddhist feminist leaders, and the current state of women's issues in Buddhism.

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  • November 8th-9th, 2012: Seminar at University of the West
  • November 10th, 2012: Post-seminar one-day Buddhist Temple tour (optional)
Thursday 11/08
Panel I -3:30pm -5:30pm
Discussant: Dr. Lori Meeks / University of Southern California
Questions about Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī’s Ordination Julia Stenzel
McGill University
The Social Life of Buddhist Nuns and Laywomen in Song Dynasty Jacqueline Jingjing
University of the West
Connected through Ritual: Interactions between Daihongan’s Nuns and Laypeople in Early Modern Japan Matthew Mitchell
Duke University
Anima and the Feminine Principle Victor Gabriel
University of the West
ICBS Fall 2012 Lecture Series -7:00pm -8:30pm
Speaker: Dr. Lori Meeks / University of Southern California

Friday 11/09
Panel II - 9:00am -11:00am
Discussant: Dr. Jane Iwamura / University of the West
The Wizard King and His Daughters: Burmese Buddhist Female Mediums, Healers, and Dreamers Thomas Patton
Cornell University
Beyond gender equality in Theravāda Buddhism: Thai women who opt for bhikkhunī-upasampadā Ayako Itoh
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
Women of Crazy Wisdom: the Influence of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as a Source for Revolutionary Feminism Amy Defibaugh
Temple University
Brahmanical Marriage, Buddhist Renunciation and Possible Christian Influence in the Avadānaśataka Karen Muldoon-Hules
Panel III - 1:30pm -3:30pm
Discussant: Dr. Natasha Heller / UCLA
Both the Three Followings and the Three Jewels: Piety and Personal Choice in the Biographies of Two Northern Wei Buddhist Nuns Stephanie Balkwill
McMaster University
Female Religiosity of Korean Buddhism: A Case Study of the Unmunsa Monastic College Chungwhan Sung
Dongguk University
From Girl Poet to Exemplary Buddhist Laywoman: Ye Xiaoluan’s Afterlife Account in the Shan Nüren Zhuan Hongyu Wu
University of Pittsburgh
The Maiden Who Fell in Love with a Thief: Romance, Murder and Redemption in the Life of the Nun Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā Alberto Todeschini
UC Berkeley
ICBS Fall 2012 Lecture Series - 4:00pm -5:30pm
Speaker: Dr. Natasha Heller / UCLA

Lecture by Dr. Lori Meeks:
This lecture will begin with a reflection on dominant trends in the study ofwomen and gender in Buddhist history and will then suggest directions for future research.

Lecture by Dr. Natasha Heller:
Zhongfeng Mingben 中峰明本(1263-1323) was one of the most important Buddhist figures of the Yuan dynasty, who was sought out as a teacher by monks from across Asia and attracted many prominent lay disciples. His official biographies emphasize his wide popularity alongside his successful teaching career and written works, but also present Mingben as living in a male world. Yet if we probe at the margins of these sources, it is possible to uncover laywomen who played a role in his career. Exploring what we can know about these women adds another dimension to the picture of female devotion at this time, and offers a corrective to androcentric narratives of Buddhist monks.


The Institute of Chinese Buddhist Studies (ICBS), UWest


Jacqueline Jingjing Z., Coordinator

Please send all queries to icbs@uwest.edu, and write “ICBS Fall 2012 Young Scholar Seminar” in the subject line.

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