(1 credit) The Buddhist community has always consisted of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen, in that order. The question of women’s place and standing within Buddhism has, throughout, remained a problematic, contentious, and sometimes confusing one, as the historical Buddhist traditions seem to offer simultaneously liberative and oppressive perspectives on women. During this course, we will investigate the complex, and changing, status of women in relationship to Buddhist doctrine and practice. We will approach our study through the lens of examining some of the social constructs of Buddha’s time into today, as well as through the lens of examining the position that the tradition takes in relationship to the question of the inherent capacity of women, and offer some ideas for an interpretive framework to come to understand how to relate to this. We will end by looking at some examples of exemplary Buddhist women practitioners, in the past and in contemporary times. This course will use contemplative pedagogy as well as traditional pedagogical methods for learning.