Karma Lekshe Tsomo to Speak at Carleton

by Sarah King, Carleton College News, May 17, 2007

Northfield, MN (USA) -- Karma Lekshe Tsomo, associate professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego, will present a lecture entitled “Moving Toward Equality: The Debate Over Full Ordination for Buddhist Women” at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 21 in Carleton College’s Leighton Hall, room 305. The event is free and open to the public.

Tsomo’s primary academic interests include women in Buddhism, Buddhism and bioethics, religion and cultural change, and Buddhism in the United States. Her doctoral research focused on death and identity in China and Tibet.

In addition to her academic work, she is actively involved in interfaith dialogue and in grassroots initiatives for the empowerment of women. Tsomo is the president of Sakyadhita, meaning “Daughters of the Buddha,” an international association of Buddhist women. The organization works toward building an international community of Buddhist women.

Tsomo is also director of the Jamyang Foundation, an initiative to provide educational opportunities for women in the Indian Himalayas and Bangladesh.

Tsomo received her BA in Japanese from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned an MA in both Asian studies and Asian religions, both from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she also received her PhD in comparative philosophy. Her work has appeared in a variety of anthologies, including Out of the Shadows: Socially Engaged Buddhist Women in the Global Community (Sri Satguru Publications, 2006) and Buddhist Women and Social Justice: Ideals, Challenges, and Achievements (State University of New York Press, 2004). She has also written two books, Into the Jaws of Yama: Buddhism, Bioethics, and Death (State University of New York Press, 2006) and Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women, A Comparative Analysis of the Dharmagupta and Mulasarvastivada Bhiksuni Pratimoksa Sutras (State University of New York Press, 1996).

Tsomo’s appearance is sponsored by the 2007 Lindesmith Lecture Series. For more information and disability accommodations, call department of religion at (507) 646-4232.