From Scripture to Social Engagement: Public Lotus Sūtra Dharmology

February 26, 2019 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
HSSB 3041

The Dalai Lama Endowment & The Department of Religious Studies present a lecture by:

Professor Bee Scherer

INCISE, Cantebury Christ Church University, U.K.

This talk examines the methodologies of translating sacred/foundational texts into social action using the example of the Lotus Sūtra (Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra, SDP). The SDP is a pivotal Buddhist Mahāyāna scripture with far-reaching influence throughout the Buddhist world and, in particular, throughout East Asia. Scherer examines the hermeneutical strategies possible and actually employed in Lotus Sūtra eis-/exegesis for social engagement—a process which, following Roger Corless, can be termed Public Lotus Sūtra Dharmology, analogous to Practical or Public Theology in the Abrahamic religions. Focussing on embodied Othering, dis/ability and Social Justice by means of close readings of the Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese versions of the SDP, Scherer discusses challenges and opportunities of Lotus Sūtra interpretation and SDP-based social justice advocacy.


Professor Bee Scherer, PhD (Groningen 2002), is the founding Director of the Intersectional Centre for Inclusion and Social Justice (INCISE, at Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom. A Full Professor of Religious Studies and Gender Studies, Bee has published widely in the areas of Buddhist Studies and Queer Theory. Bee’s current research focuses on transfeminism, disability, gender & sexuality, and Social Justice in transnational Buddhist and Asian contexts. The founder of the interdisciplinary Queering Paradigms Social Justice research and activism network and conference series (, Bee is also the editor of the Queering Paradigms and QP in Focus book series for Peter Lang, Oxford ( ).


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