Webinar: Buddhist Theological Education


Although it has arguably been in practice for at least the last quarter century or more, to date, consensus among academics and practitioners regarding the definition of Buddhist theological education in American culture has not yet been reached.

This conversation between José Cabezón and Chenxing Han, moderated by Namdrol Miranda Adams, seeks to determine common ground, interrogate existing challenges and opportunities, and asks, with an eye to the context and settings of their institutions and others, what is "Buddhist theological education?" and whom and/or what purposes should it serve?

Webinar Presenters

José Cabezón | Cabezón is the Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies and Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds one of only three endowed chairs in Tibetan Buddhist Studies in North America. Over the span of his long career, some of his work has interrogated some of the basic categories of the field, including theology. He contributed a chapter on Buddhist Theology in the Academy to Buddhist Theology: Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars, a collection of critical essays on the emerging field published in the year 2000. Dr. Cabezón was President of the American Academy of Religion in 2020.

Chenxing Han | Han is the author of the widely reviewed Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists, and the forthcoming one long listening: a memoir of grief, friendship, and spiritual care, both with North Atlantic Books. She is a regular contributor to Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, Buddhadharma, and other publications, and a frequent speaker and workshop leader at schools, universities, and Buddhist communities across the nation. Her work focuses on Buddhist communities in the United States and on Buddhist Chaplaincy, a specific manifestation of Buddhist theological work. She holds a BA from Stanford University, an MA in Buddhist Studies from the Graduate Theological Union, and a certificate in Buddhist chaplaincy from the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California.


Namdrol Miranda Adams | Adams is the Dean of Education and a founder of Maitripa College in Portland, Oregon. Since 1998, she has dedicated her life to the study and practice of the Tibetan language and the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, has worked extensively with the texts of the tradition as an editor and translator, has completed the major retreats on the sutra and tantra traditions of the lineage, and was ordained as a Buddhist nun for seven years. Since 2005, Dr. Adams has worked with the faculty, staff, and board of Maitripa College in Portland, Oregon to develop curriculum, practice, and community for graduate students that is modern, authentic, culturally relevant, and grounded in tradition.