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By Nirmala S. Salgado

In line with wide examine in Sri Lanka and interviews with Theravada and Tibetan nuns from around the globe, Salgado's groundbreaking examine urges a rethinking of woman renunciation. How are scholarly debts complicit in reinscribing imperialist tales concerning the subjectivity of Buddhist girls? How do key Buddhist "concepts" comparable to dukkha, samsara, and sila ground girl renunciant perform? Salgado's provocative research questions the secular concept of the better ordination of nuns as a political circulate for freedom opposed to patriarchal norms. Arguing that the lives of nuns defy translation right into a politics of worldwide sisterhood equivalent earlier than legislations, she demands more-nuanced readings of nuns' daily renunciant practices.

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Extra resources for Buddhist Nuns and Gendered Practice: In Search of the Female Renunciant

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Here Bartholomeusz, citing a source on the biography of Sudharmachari, attributes to her, as do her biographers, a memory of “Anulā and her retinue who . . eagerly awaited the arrival of Bhikkhunī Saňghamittā” (95). The master narrative that places Sudharmachari in relation to Anula is introduced by Sudharmachari’s biographers and adopted by Bartholomeusz, yet it is not obvious that Sudharmachari herself saw Anula as a role model. In fact, Bartholomeusz reports that contemporary nuns who knew Sudharmachari said that she “did not intend to re-establish the order of nuns in Ceylon” (95).

Are less centered in the family and more concerned with the individual’s spiritual well-being” (Feminism 92). The “individual’s spiritual well-being” is a reference to the ideal religious life as represented in texts, yet it becomes part of a blanket statement about how those religions rather than religious practitioners are relatively less concerned with the family. Gross, by conflating textual ideals with social lives, has ignored family and kin networks that are intrinsic to the social engagement present in the everyday lives of contemporary practitioners.

That is very evident in her work Buddhism after Patriarchy, which is devoted to a textual Buddhism and a theoretical reconstruction based on it. That is also true for her comments on other Asian religions. For instance, half-way through her book Feminism and Religion she states that she has “thus far focused on feminist analysis of the present forms of religion” (149). However, a discussion of contemporary practices of the Asian religions she mentions is lacking in that book. Instead, she makes broad generalizations concerning certain religions—generalizations she bases on an analysis of texts—all the while putatively addressing a context that is more social and contemporary.

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