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Crafting women's religious experience in a patrilineal society: Taiwanese Buddhist nuns in action (1945–1999)
Author Li, Yu-chen (著)
Source Dissertation Abstracts International
Volumev.61 n.4 Section A
PublisherProQuest LLC
Publisher Url
LocationAnn Arbor, MI, US [安娜堡, 密西根州, 美國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
InstitutionCornell University
DepartmentHistory Religion
AdvisorLaw, Jane Marie
Publication year2000
KeywordReligious experience; Women; Society; Patrilineal; Taiwanese; Buddhist; Nuns; China
AbstractThis dissertation explores the cultural and religious implications underlying the enthusiasm of Taiwanese women to Buddhist bhiksuni (the fully ordained Buddhist nun) in post-war Taiwan. The vitality and contribution of Taiwanese bhiksunis in promoting the Buddhist modernization movement provides important historical evidence contradicting the canonical hypothesis of women's causing the decline of Buddhist teachings.

By viewing the revival of the bhiksuni ordination as an internal monastic reform, in the first chapter I discuss how Dual Ordination established the ecclesiastical prestige of Buddhist nuns and how the Eight Special Conditions paradoxically placed limitations on Buddhist nuns' clerical representation. Chapter two reveals Taiwanese nuns' struggle to promote Dual Ordination to appropriate their own monastic membership and religious identity. In the Third Chapter investigates the contact between Taiwanese bhiksunis and other Buddhist nuns in the 1998 International Ordination in Bodhgaya, India.

I investigate bhikusnis' charisma and leadership in chapter four, and further discuss how these new models of women's leadership legitimize the new monastic lifestyle of Taiwanese young women in chapter five. The young generation of Taiwanese nuns has demonstrated which conflicts between women's religious commitment and filial piety and how contemporary Taiwanese women change the traditional retreat of women into a modern career. The sixth chapter introduces the monastery kitchen, a women's space created by sexual segregation in Taiwanese Buddhism and a gendered space that provides a solid base for Taiwanese nuns to mobilize and cooperate with lay women.

The flourishing of the Taiwanese bhiksuni community illustrated how women's determination to pursue a formal monastic membership enables them to utilize social and conventional resources to gain ecclesiastical recognition. In return, both their ritual prestige and social independence were institutionalized in term of the religious identity of bhiksuni.
ISBN0599722290; 9780599722293
Created date2005.09.23
Modified date2022.03.25

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