People performing diverse embodiments of sexualities, gender, and variable physical and neurological patterns, among others, often encounter specific difficulties and sometimes hostility when practicing Buddhism. In this talk, Professor Bee Scherer will look at these experiences of abjection, their grounding in social psychology, and how they relate to positions found in Buddhist philosophy and narratives. How can we negotiate oppressive readings of, for example, key Buddhist notions such as karma, No-Self, and detachment? How can we address structural marginalization and discrimination of “dis/abilities” (variabilities) and sexual and gender diversity in Socially Engaged Buddhist activism and as communities of practice?
From their experience in academia and as a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Professor Scherer will discuss strategies of inclusion and give examples of liberatory practices.
Prof. Bee Scherer (they, them, their) has been practicing for decades in the Sakya and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and has been serving as a dharma teacher for more than fifteen years. Formerly the chair of Religious Studies and Gender Studies at Canterbury CCU in the U.K., Bee now heads Buddhist Studies at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and directs the national Dutch Buddhist chaplaincy training program. Trained in the classical Buddhist languages, Bee has published widely in Buddhist Studies as well as in gender and sexuality theory (Queer and Trans* Studies) and in Critical Disabilities Studies. Both as an academic and as a queer/non-binary/trans* and dis/ability advocate, Bee brings their unique perspective to Buddhist practice, embodiment, and social engagement.