In this episode, we speak with Dr. Jue Liang about her beginnings as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, the life of the Tibetan saint Yeshe Tsogyal, and the broader topic of women in Buddhism. How should we think about the place of women in Buddhist philosophy, narrative, and practice? How do scholars attempt to recover the lives of women who are often forgotten in Buddhist history? And how does thinking with and about gender help us—whatever our gender—understand Buddhism? We also preview her upcoming online course, BSO 105 | Women and Buddhism, which will explore these issues in more depth!
Dr. Jue Liang is a scholar of Tibetan Buddhist literature, history, and culture, and is Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Denison University and incoming Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Wittenberg University in Fall 2022.
She received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation, Conceiving the Mother of Tibet: The Life, Lives, and Afterlife of the Buddhist Saint Yeshe Tsogyel, examines the literary tradition surrounding the matron saint of Tibet, Yeshe Tsogyel, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It also presents the blossoming of this literary tradition in tandem with the efforts to trace their religious pedigree and define what counts as authentic Buddhism by Nyingma Tibetan Buddhists.
She is currently working on a second book project titled Who Is a Buddhist Feminist: Theorizing Gender and Religion in Contemporary Tibet. It is a study on the history, discourse, and social effects of the khenmo program, a gender-equality initiative that has been taking place at Tibetan Buddhist institutions in China for the past three decades. Jue is also an active participant in discussions on Buddhism in both academic and public forums.