Since the 1980s, American Buddhist convert communities have been the site of reoccurring cases of sexual abuse and misconduct. This two-part presentation will reflect on how some contemporary practitioners have responded, in particular identifying “generative responses” that combine Buddhist and non-Buddhist frameworks to generate new forms of Buddhist thought, community, and practice. Taking a constructive rather than a corrective approach, it will then consider these responses in relationship to the Buddhist sexual ethics found in classical sources, focusing especially on the ideas of consent and intention.
Ann Gleig is an associate professor of Religion and Cultural Studies at the University of Central Florida. She is author of American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity (Yale University Press, 2019). Amy Langenberg is an associate professor of Religious Studies at Eckerd College. She is author of Birth in Buddhism: the Suffering Fetus and Female Freedom (Routledge, 2017). They are currently working on a co-written book project on sexual violations in American convert Buddhism, which is under advance contract with Yale University Press.
This paper was given as part of the CRPL Seminar Series on the 15th October 2020 via Teams. Please be aware that the presentation does contain discussion of sexual assault.