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The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity and Gender
Author Faure, Bernard (著)
PublisherPrinceton University Press
Publisher Url
LocationPrinceton, NJ, US [普林斯顿, 紐澤西州, 美國]
Content type書籍=Book
KeywordWomen in Buddhism; Doctrines
AbstractInnumerable 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.
Table of contentsIntroduction: "Soaring and settling" : too soon?
The cultural approach
Gender revisited
Gendering Buddhism

pt. 1 Buddhism and women. The second order. The evolution of the female sangha
The female order in Japan
The issue of ordination
Sociological context(s)
Sorely missed
Nunhood and feminism
The rhetoric of subordination. A theodicy of disprivilege
The five obstacles and the three dependences
A case of blood poisoning
Drinking from the blood bowl
The "facts" of life
The red and the white
The rhetoric of salvation. The legend of the naga-girl --Becoming male
Interpretative divergences
Amida's vow and its implications
A feminine topos
The rhetoric of equality. Gender equality in Mahayana
Gender equality in Vajrayana
Chan/Zen egalitarianism

pt. 2 Imagining Buddhist women. Monks, mothers, and motherhood. Bad mothers
The ambivalent mother
Mater dolorosa
The forsaken mother
The changing image of motherhood
Varieties of motherly experience
Mad mothers
The law of alliance
Conflicting images. Women in the life of the Buddha
Queens, empresses, and other impressive ladies
Eminent nuns
Femmes fatales
Of women and jewels

pt. 3 Women against Buddhism. Crossing the line. The utopian topos
Stopped in their tracks
Kukai's mother
The Kekkai stone
Conflicting interpretations
The symbolic reading of transgression
The kekkai and the logic of muen
Women on the move. The "nuns of Kumano"
What's in a name
Down by the river
The monk and the bayadere
The discourteous courtesan
The power of women. The myth of Tamayorihime
The Miko and the monk
Women on the edge
Women, dragons, and snakes
ISBN0691091706; 9780691091709; 0691091714; 9780691091716
Created date2008.09.09
Modified date2021.05.20

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