Upcoming Lectures

What is a Woman? What is a Man? Exploring The Buddhist Sources

Jose Ignacio Cabezon
University of California, Santa Barbara


Thursday, February 7th, 2019, at 6:00 pm
Great Hall at the International House, Eleanor Roosevelt College
UC San Diego campus



Registration coming soon



The Lecturer:

Jose Cabezon is Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and president-elect of the American Academy of Religion.  The author or editor of eighteen books and dozens of articles, Cabezon has a wide range of scholarly interests, from Indian Buddhist philosophy to Tibetan history to the academic study of religion. His latest book, Sexuality in Classical South Asian Buddhism (Wisdom Publications, 2017) is the most extensive study of its kind ever published.  The recipient of many honors, Cabezon was most recently awarded Guggenheim and ACLS fellowships for his forthcoming book Sera Monastery, a study of fifteenth-century Tibetan monastic academy.

Lecturer Description:

The ancient Buddhist sources have a great deal to say about what it means to be a biological man or woman, what it means to be gendered male and female, what kinds of desires and sexual practices are considered normative, and what kinds deviant. But this material is scattered throughout hundreds of different texts and is found in no single source.  Drawing on decades of research into the classical Indian and Tibetan Buddhist texts - and on the extensive literature on ancient theories of "queerness" - Cabezon traces the life of a man and woman from conception to death, in the process laying bare Buddhist assumptions about what it means to be normal and abnormal and why these issues were so important to ancient authors.

The Lecture Series:

The Burke Lectureship has since 1985 sponsored a permanent, major series of free public lectures by distinguished scholars, authors, and leaders from various religious traditions who speak on the religious dimensions of being human and how religion interacts with society. The speakers visit the campus for one or more days of teaching and exchange with faculty, students, and interested members of the community.

Directions and Parking:
  • From I-5 take exit 29 for Genesee Avenue and head west on Genesee Avenue.
  • Turn left on North Torrey Pines Road [third traffic light].
  • Make the second left onto Pangea Drive.
  • Turn left into the Pangea Parking Structure.
    • All visitors must purchase a parking permit from the meter located on the top floor of the parking structure.