ties that bind maternal imagery and discourse in indian buddhism

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Ties That Bind

Author : Reiko Ohnuma
ISBN : 9780199915675
Genre : Religion
File Size : 28. 72 MB
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Reiko Ohnuma offers a wide-ranging exploration of maternal imagery and discourse in pre-modern South Asian Buddhism, drawing on textual sources preserved in Pali and Sanskrit. She demonstrates that Buddhism in India had a complex and ambivalent relationship with mothers and motherhood-symbolically, affectively, and institutionally. Symbolically, motherhood was a double-edged sword, sometimes extolled as the most appropriate symbol for buddhahood itself, and sometimes denigrated as the most paradigmatic manifestation possible of attachment and suffering. On an affective level, too, motherhood was viewed with the same ambivalence: in Buddhist literature, warm feelings of love and gratitude for the mother's nurturance and care frequently mingle with submerged feelings of hostility and resentment for the unbreakable obligations thus created, and positive images of self-sacrificing mothers are counterbalanced by horrific depictions of mothers who kill and devour. Institutionally, the formal definition of the Buddhist renunciant as one who has severed all familial ties seems to co-exist uneasily with an abundance of historical evidence demonstrating monks' and nuns' continuing concern for their mothers, as well as other familial entanglements. Ohnuma's study provides critical insight into Buddhist depictions of maternal love and maternal grief, the role played by the Buddha's own mothers, Maya and Mahaprajapati, the use of pregnancy and gestation as metaphors for the attainment of enlightenment, the use of breastfeeding as a metaphor for the compassionate deeds of buddhas and bodhisattvas, and the relationship between Buddhism and motherhood as it actually existed in day-to-day life.

The Oxford Handbook Of Contemporary Buddhism

Author : Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Michael Jerryson
ISBN : 9780199362387
Genre :
File Size : 57. 34 MB
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As an incredibly diverse religious system, Buddhism is constantly changing. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism offers a comprehensive collection of work by leading scholars in the field that tracks these changes up to the present day. Taken together, the book provides a blueprint to understanding Buddhism's past and uses it to explore the ways in which Buddhism has transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The volume contains 41 essays, divided into two sections. The essays in the first section examine the historical development of Buddhist traditions throughout the world. These chapters cover familiar settings like India, Japan, and Tibet as well as the less well-known countries of Vietnam, Bhutan, and the regions of Latin America, Africa, and Oceania. Focusing on changes within countries and transnationally, this section also contains chapters that focus explicitly on globalization, such as Buddhist international organizations and diasporic communities. The second section tracks the relationship between Buddhist traditions and particular themes. These chapters review Buddhist interactions with contemporary topics such as violence and peacebuilding, and ecology, as well as Buddhist influences in areas such as medicine and science. Offering coverage that is both expansive and detailed, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism delves into some of the most debated and contested areas within Buddhist Studies today.

Charming Cadavers

Author : Liz Wilson
ISBN : 0226900541
Genre : Religion
File Size : 21. 86 MB
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In this highly original study of sexuality, desire, the body, and women, Liz Wilson investigates first-millennium Buddhist notions of spirituality. She argues that despite the marginal role women played in monastic life, they occupied a very conspicuous place in Buddhist hagiographic literature. In narratives used for the edification of Buddhist monks, women's bodies in decay (diseased, dying, and after death) served as a central object for meditation, inspiring spiritual growth through sexual abstention and repulsion in the immediate world. Taking up a set of universal concerns connected with the representation of women, Wilson displays the pervasiveness of androcentrism in Buddhist literature and practice. She also makes persuasive use of recent historical work on the religious lives of women in medieval Christianity, finding common ground in the role of miraculous afflictions. This lively and readable study brings provocative new tools and insights to the study of women in religious life.

Family Matters In Indian Buddhist Monasticisms

Author : Shayne Neil Clarke
ISBN : 9381406359
Genre : Buddhist monks
File Size : 62. 79 MB
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This is a study based on difficult primary sources of Indian Buddhist monks and nuns and their families. The author argues that there is little evidence to support the conventional understanding of Buddhist renunciation in which monks and nuns abandon their families when they leave home for religious life.

Little Buddhas

Author : Vanessa R. Sasson
ISBN : 9780199945610
Genre : Religion
File Size : 34. 4 MB
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Edited by Vanessa R. Sasson, Little Buddhas brings together a wide range of scholarship and expertise to address the question of what role children have played in Buddhist literature, in particular historical contexts, and their role in specific Buddhist contexts today.

The Power Of Denial

Author : Bernard Faure
ISBN : 140082561X
Genre : Religion
File Size : 71. 75 MB
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Innumerable studies have appeared in recent decades about practically every aspect of women's lives in Western societies. The few such works on Buddhism have been quite limited in scope. In The Power of Denial, Bernard Faure takes an important step toward redressing this situation by boldly asking: does Buddhism offer women liberation or limitation? Continuing the innovative exploration of sexuality in Buddhism he began in The Red Thread, here he moves from his earlier focus on male monastic sexuality to Buddhist conceptions of women and constructions of gender. Faure argues that Buddhism is neither as sexist nor as egalitarian as is usually thought. Above all, he asserts, the study of Buddhism through the gender lens leads us to question what we uncritically call Buddhism, in the singular. Faure challenges the conventional view that the history of women in Buddhism is a linear narrative of progress from oppression to liberation. Examining Buddhist discourse on gender in traditions such as that of Japan, he shows that patriarchy--indeed, misogyny--has long been central to Buddhism. But women were not always silent, passive victims. Faure points to the central role not only of nuns and mothers (and wives) of monks but of female mediums and courtesans, whose colorful relations with Buddhist monks he considers in particular. Ultimately, Faure concludes that while Buddhism is, in practice, relentlessly misogynist, as far as misogynist discourses go it is one of the most flexible and open to contradiction. And, he suggests, unyielding in-depth examination can help revitalize Buddhism's deeper, more ancient egalitarianism and thus subvert its existing gender hierarchy. This groundbreaking book offers a fresh, comprehensive understanding of what Buddhism has to say about gender, and of what this really says about Buddhism, singular or plural.

A Garland Of Feminist Reflections

Author : Rita M. Gross
ISBN : 052094366X
Genre : Religion
File Size : 73. 82 MB
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Rita M. Gross has long been acknowledged as a founder in the field of feminist theology. One of the earliest scholars in religious studies to discover how feminism affects that discipline, she is recognized as preeminent in Buddhist feminist theology. The essays in A Garland of Feminist Reflections represent the major aspects of her work and provide an overview of her methodology in women's studies in religion and feminism. The introductory article, written specifically for this volume, summarizes the conclusions Gross has reached about gender and feminism after forty years of searching and exploring, and the autobiography, also written for this volume, narrates how those conclusions were reached. These articles reveal the range of scholarship and reflection found in Rita M. Gross's work and demonstrate how feminist scholars in the 1970s shifted the paradigm away from an androcentric model of humanity and forever changed the way we study religion.

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