Is there gender equality in Buddhist traditions? What do Buddhist texts say about women? How have Buddhist women responded to misogyny? Collett is well placed to review both recent scholarship and original writing by and about women in Buddhism. She shows that core Buddhist doctrines provide no justification for the notion that women are inferior to men. But Buddhism was born and took root in societies that held traditional views of women, and social norms positioning women as inferior to men have found their way into Buddhist tradition. This book tells the stories of many inspiring Buddhist women who overcame attempted constraint to gain liberation and become esteemed teachers. Not only do we hear about them in this book, but we also hear from them in their own words. An ideal introduction to gender studies in Buddhism and the history of women in the tradition.
CONTENTS About the Author Acknowledgements Publisher’s Acknowledgements Introduction A New Historical Narrative Four Recurring Themes in Buddhist Texts and Tradition Part I Asking Questions About Buddhism Chapter 1 Buddhism and Gender Equality Buddhist Ethics The Principle of Non-Harm Buddhism and Feminism Chapter 2 Women in Buddhist Texts Nuns Overcoming Desire The Problem of Desire Women Are the Problem, Not Desire The Saundarananda, ‘Handsome Nanda’ The Mahāratnakūṭa, ‘The Collection of Great Jewels’ The Śikṣāsamuccaya,, ‘The Compendium of Training’ Beyond India Chapter 3 Gender and Buddhist Doctrine Dependent Arising The Doctrine of No-Self Emptiness and Sexual Transformation Part II Voices Through the Centuries Chapter 4 Portraits of Buddhist Women Early Buddhist Nuns in India Dhammadinnā Bhaddā Kundalakesā Patācārā Women in Early China Zhu Jingjian An Lingshou Daoxing Women in Modern East Asia Qiyuan Xinggang Chiyo-ni Women in Modern Thailand Mae Chi Kaew Sianglam Chapter 5 Recovering a Lost Past: South and Southeast Asia Sri Lanka Mainland Southeast Asia Cambodia Burma (Myanmar) Thailand Chapter 6 Deities, Teachers, Lineages: Central and East Asia Mahāyāna Buddhism China Korea Taiwan Tantric Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism Chapter 7 Unconventional Women and Truth-Tellers: The West Theravāda Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism Modern Western Buddhism Epilogue Reaching Across the Divide Notes References Index