The Buddhist Sangha, the community of monks and nuns, is said to have been founded by the Buddha just weeks after his enlightenment. The texts tell us that shortly after its founding, the Buddha began to deny ordination to certain individuals on the grounds of a number of physical and mental “abnormalities.” This lecture explores some of these proscriptions, those having to do with sexuality. It explores some of the most ancient texts on this subject and the consequences of these regulations on Buddhists up to the present. Jose Ignacio Cabezon is XIV Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, and Chair of the Religious Studies Department at the University of California Santa Barbara. He has published some twelve books and almost 100 articles on topics ranging from Buddhist philosophy to identity politics in the study of religion. His latest books include the edited volume Tibetan Ritual (Oxford, 2010), and Meditation on the Nature of Mind (Wisdom, 2011), co-authored with the Dalai Lama.
Department of Religion