Feminine & Spiritual: Buddhist Women in Hong Kong

HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies 20th Anniversary Series

Public Lecture

Feminine & Spiritual: Buddhist Women in Hong Kong

Time: 7-9 pm (HKT) | 17 Apr 2023 (Mon)

Venue: LE1 (Hui Pun Hing Lecture Hall), Library Extension Building, HKU

Online registration

Women form a critical half of the Buddhist community, yet their stories are often untold or less known. This panel explores women’s empowerment through both ancient Buddhist teachings and modern feminism, particularly through the eyes of female lay Buddhists. It will examine the challenges they face to the changing cultures that allow them to assume varied roles and make important contributions. The evening will first screen excerpts from “Feminine and Spiritual: Buddhist Women in Hong Kong,” a documentary and interview series about laywomen in Hong Kong. Then the director of the series, Guoying Stacy Zhang, will have a discussion with Dr. Elizabeth LaCoutre and Dr. Eliza Lau on the broader issues of gender and womanhood in Buddhist life. The discussion will be moderated by Raymond Lam, senior writer at Buddhistdoor Global.


Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture: Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture is the founding director of the Gender Studies Programme at the University of Hong Kong. She is a historian of women and gender in modern China and the Sinophone. She is the author of Dwelling in the World: Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China 1860-1960 and is currently researching gender, race, and beauty in Hong Kong as well as the history of Hong Kong’s Jewish community. Dr. LaCouture is the chairwoman of the Jewish Women’s Association of Hong Kong and is interested in interfaith conversations on faith and feminism.

Dr. Eliza Lau: Being a physiotherapist in the 80s, Eliza felt that the many so-called physical problems of her clients didn’t just come from the body. There seemed to be a strong “mind” component to every somatic experience. She left the profession in search of a way to better understand the mind-body complex. After a PhD degree in Comparative Literature, Eliza continued with studies in Buddhism at the University of Hong Kong. In 2009, she became a student of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and since then has been practicing meditation as a personal discipline and devoted her time in mind-body health education. In 2018, Eliza learned Charya-dance from Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya. The practice originates from an ancient Newar Buddhist tradition that uses dance as a spiritual discipline.

Ms. Guoying Stacy Zhang: Guoying Stacy Zhang is dedicated to decoding Buddhist art and wisdom for the contemporary world. With over a decade of experience in the field, she has worked extensively with art and religious institutions. Since 2016, her column at Buddhistdoor Global has shared authentic Buddhist teachings and rare art objects with the general public by interviewing religious masters, scholars, artists, and private collectors. Stacy served as associate curator at Tsz Shan Monastery and assisted Po Lin Monastery in researching the conservation of the Big Buddha statue in Hong Kong. Her work on both projects has been published in Arts of Asia. Stacy studied art history and Buddhist art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the Courtauld Institute of Art as a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation scholar.


Mr. Raymond Lam: Raymond Lam is senior writer at Buddhistdoor Global. He analyzes and comments on Buddhist affairs and their interconnected, global matters in culture and the arts, politics and diplomacy, and academia. He supports a cosmopolitan and historically-informed vision of early, Pure Land, and Huayan Buddhism. He took refuge and the five lay precepts under the late Ven. Rong Ling in 2008 and Ven. Prof. Dhammajoti in 2022, and underwent the Five Mindfulness Trainings as devised by the late Thich Nhat Hanh in 2013. He read theology at The University of Queensland, Brisbane (2009) and Buddhist Studies at SOAS, London (2012). He became a religion journalist at BDG in 2012.

Conducted in English | All are welcome | Free admission

Enquiry [email protected]

​Organized by: HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies & Buddhistdoor Global

Sponsored by: Tung Lin Kok Yuen

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