Buddhist Nuns in Taiwan and Sri Lanka: A Critique of the Feminist Perspective

1st Edition

Wei-Yi Cheng

Routledge
Published February 10, 2011
Reference - 226 Pages
ISBN 9780415596268 - CAT# Y111262
Series: Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism

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Summary

Taking a comparative approach, this fieldwork-based study explores the lives and thoughts of Buddhist nuns in present-day Taiwan and Sri Lanka. The author examines the postcolonial background and its influence on the modern situation, as well as surveying the main historical, economic, and social factors which influence the position of nuns in society.

Based on original research, including interviews with nuns in both countries, the book examines their perspectives on controversial issues and in particular those concerning the status of women in Buddhism. Concerns discussed include allegedly misogynist teachings relating to women’s inferior karma, that they cannot become Buddhas, and that nuns have to follow additional rules that monks do not.

Bridging the gap between feminist theory and the reality of women in religion, the book makes a distinct contribution to the study of women in Buddhism by focusing on nuns from both of the main wings of Buddhism (Theravada and Mahayana) as well as furthering feminist studies of Buddhism and religion in general.

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