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Women Challenging the “Celibate” Buddhist Order: Recent Cases of Progress and Regress in the Sōtō School
Author Kawahashi, Noriko (著)=川橋範子 (au.) ; Peterson, Richard
Source Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Volumev.44 n.1
Pages55 - 74
PublisherNanzan Institute for Religion and Culture=南山宗教文化研究所
Publisher Url
Location名古屋, 日本 [Nagoya, Japan]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
NoteKawahashi Noriko is Professor of Religion at Nagoya Institute of Technology. She has
published extensively on the subject of gender and religion in Japan and Okinawa.
Keywordtemple wives; jizoku; Sōtō School; celibacy; Jōdo Shin School; women’s networking; traditional Buddhist orders; gender equality
AbstractThis article will discuss the tension between the principle of celibacy (professed
renunciation of secular life) and the fact of marriage by male priests in
the Sōtō School. Although one hundred and forty-five years have passed since
the government edict of 1872 that recognized marriage by Buddhist clergymen
under secular law in Japan, this thorny problem is still far from being resolved,
and has instead become a field of contention with many varied voices. This
study examines recent developments with particular attention to detail of
public hearings held on the temple wife problem. The Sōtō order established
a forum for public hearings on the temple wife problem at its administrative
headquarters (shūmuchō). In a series of sessions held over a five-year period
starting in 2006, the spouses of priests presented their views to the forum,
voicing their anger, apprehension, and criticisms regarding the present state
of the Sōtō School. In concluding, I argue that gender equality movements in
the Buddhist orders must seek the involvement of women and men who hold
themselves apart from gender problems, and engage tenaciously in dialogue to
reach a shared awareness of the problem.
Table of contentsFormulating the Problem 56
Historical Background 58
The Temple Wife in the Institution 60
Temple Wives Begin to Speak Out 62
Reactions from the Sōtō Order 66
Comparison with the Shin School 67
A Religious Order Goes Astray 68
From Ordination of Temple Wives to Presentation of Dharma Names to Temple Wives 69
Toward New Horizons 71
References 72
ISSN03041042 (P)
Created date2017.07.06
Modified date2017.07.06

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