By Rita M. Gross
This e-book surveys either the half ladies have performed in Buddhism traditionally and what Buddhism may possibly develop into in its post-patriarchal destiny. the writer completes the Buddhist historic checklist via discussing ladies, frequently absent from histories of Buddhism, and he or she presents the 1st feminist research of the most important options present in Buddhist faith. Gross demonstrates that the center teachings of Buddhism advertise gender fairness instead of male dominance, regardless of the customarily sexist practices present in Buddhist associations all through historical past.
"The strength of this booklet comes from the mix of the eagerness and analytic ability that Gross brings to this feminist reconstruction of the Buddhist culture. it's a ebook that are meant to tell all introductory sessions on Buddhism. via a reexamination of easy texts, Gross describes women's reports in several cultures and epochs, and indicates their relevance for the Buddha's route to Enlightenment in addition to for the social roles and pictures of girls in several occasions and places." -- Frederick J. Streng, Southern Methodist University
"Gross has written the magnum opus of feminist critique and revisioning of Buddhism. This has nice theoretical and sensible value for feminist theology in its international inter-faith discussion. the actual advantage of this publication is its bridging of top quality scholarship and accessibility to the non-expert."-- Rosemary Radford Ruether, Garrett Theological Seminary and Northwestern University
"The e-book will fill a true, certainly pressing, desire and be of significant provider to many Buddhists and scholars, students and acquaintances of Buddhism. listed below are a few of its many strengths: It basically harvests years of impassioned examine and event, bargains refreshingly daring, unique and well-reasoned arguments, and bargains with very important questions that just a girl who's either a pupil and practitioner might correctly realize. It thoroughly combines either textual paintings and historical/anthropological views, besides a essentially delineated feminist theoretical stance. It deals a helpful evaluate of the jobs of girls and discerning comparisons among them. The feminist research of key Buddhist recommendations is great, specially problems with gender with regards to selflessness, feelings, nonduality. those burning matters for plenty of Western ladies assembly Buddhism obtain the following very considerate, thorough, unique therapy. The 'prophetic voice' that Gross overtly brings to the Buddhist culture is welcome, relocating and appropriate." -- Joanna R. Macy
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Extra resources for Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism
Perhaps we could conclude that the texts are definitively heterosexist in their orientation, but we cannot conclude that women, more than men, are sexual tempters or are unable to withstand sexual temptation. But is not misogyny demonstrated by frequent evaluations of the foulness of the female body beneath its painted and alluring exterior? Because monks had more difficulty with celibacy than nuns, one might expect such literature, especially from monks who blame women for their problems. However, except when resisting temptation to a specific woman, contemplations on the body usually do not distinguish between a male and a female body.
With these resources available, the contemporary Buddhist seeking to construct an equitable position on gender issues can readily see both how "good" and how "bad" the Asian models are. One can readily see that there is a traditional basis from which to argue for more equitable gender relations as the norm for Buddhism, as well as a need to toss out certain conventions because they are so hopelessly sexist. Using this strategy allows one to maintain continuity with the tradition and with the past when it is possible to do so without violating standards of gender equityalways a useful feminist strategy in my opinion.
I suggest that this story, for the most part, though not entirely, simply does not qualify as part of the usable Buddhist past. The values reflected in the story, especially the intense commitment to the idea that women must, in all conditionseven world renunciationbe controlled by men, are incompatible with more basic and fundamental Buddhist values. They are an unfortunate hangover from conventionality that was not or could not be excised from Buddhism in its original period. As such, they are not worth fostering any more.