Santa Clara University



President's Speaker Series

Sponsored by the Office of the President, the President’s Speaker Series is a forum that brings eminent leaders to Santa Clara, providing our students, faculty, and the community an opportunity for intellectual rigor, critical thinking, reflection, and dialogue.

Santa Clara Lecture Series

The Santa Clara Lecture Series is sponsored by the Bannan Institute, which is committed to examining Catholic identity and Jesuit character.

Ethics at Noon

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics sponsors the Ethics at Noon lecture series. These lunch-hour programs provide a forum for SCU faculty members and other experts to explore ethical issues in many fields.

de Saisset Museum

The museum offers several lectures and programs based on current exhibitions.

Bannan Institutes

Feb 28, 2013
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Learning Commons and Library, St. Clare Room
Overflow Room: Harrington Learning Commons, Viewing/Taping Room B

David Gray | Contested Origins: The Hindu Hymn of the Person, the Origin of the Caste System, and the Buddhist Responses

Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education

In this lecture, Gray will relate a fascinating case involving Indian scriptural debates over the origin of the social hierarchy.  He will begin by considering the ancient and famous Hindu Hymn, the Purusha-shukta, which provides a mythic account of the origin of the universe and the caste system. He will then address Buddhist responses to this myth, which include the presentation of a counter-myth in the Agañña Sutta. Gray will also consider how the caste system is treated in other Buddhist scriptural works, including the Cakrasamvara Tantra. 

David Gray is Associate Professor, Religious Studies at Santa Clara University.  He received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Wesleyan University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Religion from Columbia University. His research explores the development of tantric Buddhist traditions in South Asia, and their dissemination in Tibet and East Asia, with a focus on the Yogin tantras, a genre of Buddhist tantric literature that focused on female deities and yogic practices involving the subtle body. He focuses particularly on the Cakrasamvara Tantra, an esoteric Indian Buddhist scripture that serves as the basis for a number of important Nepali and Tibetan Buddhist practice traditions.

More Information
Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
(408) 554-6917
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