Although an ascetic religion that touts celibacy as the norm (at least for the clergy), Buddhism has a lot to say about sexuality. José Cabezón’s talk will focus on ancient South Asian sources and will present an overview of what classical Buddhist authors have had to say about sex. Based on his recently published book, Sexuality in Classical South Asian Buddhism (Wisdom Publications, 2017), the talk will explore the themes of sexuality in Buddhist cosmological writings, the Buddhist theory of sexual desire, the interventions that monks and nuns have used to counteract desire, Buddhist ideas of sexual deviance, and Buddhist sexual ethics.
José Cabezón is Professor of Religious Studies and the XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies at UCSB. His wide-ranging research interests in various aspects of Tibetan religious traditions and religious studies include Madhyamaka philosophy, gender and sexuality, classical South Asian political ethics, and Tibetan rituals.