The First Buddhist Women


Course description

Who were the first Buddhist women? What do we know of their lives? In this course you will learn about the first Buddhist nuns and the queens and servants who were devoted disciples of the Buddha’s teachings, though they never entered the monastic order themselves. Our primary source material is a remarkable collection of poetry known as The Verses of the Elder Nuns. These poems offer insight into the women's spiritual aspirations and the limitations imposed on them by society. A number of other sources provide the historical context and describe the opportunities for women in contemporary religions. 

Image source: Anandajoti Bhikkhu, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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