BS 105 | Women and Buddhism

Available for Self-Study


Course Description

What does it mean to be a woman, a man, someone of the third sex, or none of the above in a Buddhist world? What did the Buddha teach about femininity, masculinity, and personhood? Can a woman find her path to enlightenment in a religion founded by a male teacher and historically mostly led by men?

In seeking answers to these questions, this course brings us to stories, ideas, and practices about and by women in various Buddhist traditions, from its beginnings in the northern Indian subcontinent to its modern emanations across the globe. Over the course of four modules, we will examine the women present in the Buddha’s life story and songs by the first Buddhist women, composed close to the Buddha’s time. Then, we will move on through time and explore some of the critical debates in Buddhist texts and practices regarding women: can women become enlightened? Do female monastics enjoy the same status as their male counterparts? Are the tantric Buddhist principles empowering or exploiting women? In the end, we will conclude with some responses from contemporary Buddhist women that shed new light on these ongoing issues.

Course Modules

Students Will Receive: 

  • 4 Video + Audio lectures (90 min)
  • 4 Prerecorded Q&A sessions (90 min)
  • 4 BS Credits
  • 12 Hours of CE credit with YA
  • Course Syllabus (PDF)
  • Weekly Readings (PDF)
  • 4 Multiple Choice Quizzes
  • Yogic Studies Certificate (PDF)
  • Access to Yogic Studies Community

Dr. Jue Liang

Current Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Denison University, incoming Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Wittenberg University in Fall 2022

Dr. Jue Liang is a scholar of Tibetan Buddhist literature, history, and culture. 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.

Enrollment is OPEN

Regular Tuition


One-Time Payment

  • Lifetime access to BS 105

Regular Tuition

$88 x 2

Two Monthly Payments

  • Lifetime access to BS 105

Membership Program


Monthly Subscription

  • Access to BS 105
  • Access to all YS + BS courses—including live and future courses 

  •  Access to SKT 100a + SKT 100b


This course is eligible for 12 hours of Continued Education (CE) credits with Yoga Alliance

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