Charles Hallisey, translator of the Therīgāthā, and Georgia Kashnig will be teaching an online course on the poems of the first Buddhist nuns through the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. It is a wonderful opportunity for you or your students to study these poems with Charlie and Georgia, who have been working with the Therīgāthā for many years. Here is the title and description:
The poems of the first Buddhist women still delight, surprise, and teach. Even across expanses of space, time and translation, these “inspired utterances,” as the sixth-century Buddhist commentator Dhammapala called them, enable us to see things that we have not seen before, to imagine things that we have not dreamed before. They are literature in the way that Ezra Pound meant when he said, "Literature is news that STAYS news."
This six-week online course will be devoted to reading these poems, the Therigatha, as vehicles for reflection today. The women of these poems were theris, “senior ones,” among the earliest ordained Buddhist women, and they wrote these poems, “gatha,” as expressions of not only their own enlightenment, but their lives in the fullest sense. We will do close readings with a number of these poems, paying attention to their expressive, imaginative, and emotional content, as well as how they create space for personal reflection and integration. Ultimately, we will look to these women’s utterances as answers to the question: How do we become free?
Online Course: Our intention is to build sangha and provide meaningful virtual interactions with each other and teachers in our online courses. When registering for an online course, please note that you should plan to commit to attending all scheduled sessions. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this course (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:
Meeting Schedule: Mondays between October 5 and November 9, 7:30 – 8:45 PM EST
Charles Hallisey is Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures at Harvard Divinity School where he teaches about Buddhist scriptures and Buddhist ethics as well as Pali language and literature. His translation of the Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women was published in the Murty Classical Library of India in 2015.
Georgia Kashnig is an independent scholar whose research focuses on the East Asian Buddhist world, and Japan in particular. She received a Master of Theological Studies in Buddhist Studies at Harvard Divinity School and a Master of Arts in Regional Studies, East Asia at Harvard University.
Financial Assistance is available