Women’s voices are not always easy to hear among traditional and contemporary Dharma texts. Yet, women are active and vibrant members of these communities. They are leaders, teachers, artists, philosophers, mothers, wives, professionals, politicians, monastics. Women are at the forefront of identifying crucial issues and fractures that hinder their own thriving and that of their community and ecosystem.
Claremont Lincoln University’s Center for Jain Studies (I-W, Dec. 7, 2012) is planning an Aug. 23-24 conference that will provide a place to identify problems, to discuss underlying causes, and to propose and inspire solutions (especially) within religious communities.
The conference will be anchored on six keynote presentations. First, a specialist in global women’s issues will set the stage, highlighting the five or six main areas of concerns, offering vital statistics, and issuing a call for the religious traditions to get actively involved. Additionally, an invited speaker will approach women’s issues from each of the Dharma traditions (Hindu, Buddhism, Jain, Sikh). As specialists in their field, they will have the freedom to choose their approach and topic.
Some guiding questions are: What is the state of women in this tradition?; What texts are relevant?; What are the primary challenges for women in marriage (non-marriage), society, culture, and politics?; What new arenas or spheres are women’s voices emerging within?; and What challenges to tradition or reinterpretations of norms are shaping current contexts?
The conference will also feature a keynote panel with women from western traditions.
Submissions are welcome from any tradition, gender category, sexual orientation, or philosophical perspective, with the only stipulation that the proposals intersect the Dharma traditions as a significant component of their content. We especially encourage younger scholars and practitioners from the Dharma traditions to submit proposals.