Download The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender by Bernard Faure PDF

By Bernard Faure

Innumerable stories have seemed in contemporary a long time approximately essentially each point of women's lives in Western societies. The few such works on Buddhism were fairly restricted in scope. within the energy of Denial, Bernard Faure takes a big step towards redressing this example by means of boldly asking: does Buddhism supply girls liberation or quandary? carrying on with the cutting edge exploration of sexuality in Buddhism he all started within the pink Thread, right here he strikes from his past specialise in male monastic sexuality to Buddhist conceptions of girls and buildings of gender. Faure argues that Buddhism is neither as sexist nor as egalitarian as is generally notion. principally, he asserts, the learn of Buddhism in the course of the gender lens leads us to question what we uncritically name Buddhism, within the singular.Faure demanding situations the traditional view that the heritage of girls in Buddhism is a linear narrative of growth from oppression to liberation. studying Buddhist discourse on gender in traditions comparable to that of Japan, he indicates that patriarchy--indeed, misogyny--has lengthy been relevant to Buddhism. yet girls weren't continually silent, passive sufferers. Faure issues to the principal function not just of nuns and moms (and other halves) of priests yet of woman mediums and courtesans, whose colourful kinfolk with Buddhist clergymen he considers in particular.Ultimately, Faure concludes that whereas Buddhism is, in perform, relentlessly misogynist, so far as misogynist discourses pass it's some of the most versatile and open to contradiction. And, he indicates, unyielding in-depth exam might help revitalize Buddhism's deeper, extra old egalitarianism and hence subvert its latest gender hierarchy. This groundbreaking e-book deals a clean, entire knowing of what Buddhism has to claim approximately gender, and of what this rather says approximately Buddhism, singular or plural.

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Additional info for The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender (Buddhisms: A Princeton University Press Series)

Sample text

Even after having an auspicious dream, he was still embarrassed by the fact that there was no other “orthodox” nun to serve as witness. Then a heavenly being appeared to Shinnyo’s brother, a monk named Kyo¯en, and prompted him to turn into a nun. 69 This story, which emphasizes the quasi-magical nature of ordination, is a response to the tradition regarding the first Japanese ordinations, and it sounds in particular like a rebuttal of Ganjin. SOCIOLOGICAL CONTEXT(S) Although we lack a “history” of the female san˙gha, as that of the Biqiuni zhuan in China, the devotional practices of Japanese nuns are described in various documents: biographies, wills, vows, epitaphs.

Two years later, however, they demanded full ordination from Eizon (1201–90), the reformer of the Saidaiji branch. 39 When Sho¯en died, Shinnyo was left without any means of subsistence. In 1243, she visited Eizon at Saidaiji, and told him of a dream she had had seven years before, in which a kami had foretold Eizon’s work of reviving the precepts for both male and female practitioners. Afterwards, Shinnyo founded Sho¯bo¯ji. She also restored Chu¯gu¯ji, a nunnery whose foundation was traced back to Prince Sho¯toku Taishi.

Too often, nuns are credited with a single-minded spiritual purpose that takes little account of the psychological and sociological complexities involved. Describing the modern So¯to¯ Zen community, Paula Arai argues, for instance, that nuns show a more authentic motivation than monks, who often get ordained to inherit their father’s temple, By contrast, the nuns’ ordination would reflect their search for the Dharma. 73 Recent studies have called into question this idealized image of nuns and fostered a better understanding of the socioeconomic role of convents in medieval Japan.

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