Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1




|Views: 42|Likes:
Published by alvinconcha

More info:

Published by: alvinconcha on Jun 07, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Contribution of Buddhism to the status of women in society
Alvin Concha, MD
Women and SpiritualityMA Gender StudiesAteneo de Davao University
“When one’s mind is well concentrated and wisdom never fails,does the fact of being a woman make any difference?” A Buddhist Bhikkhuni
What Buddhists Believe
Introduction and methods
Why a question-and-answer format for this paper?
The feminist tradition in doing research has been notorious for drawing into thelimelight the ways of knowing (and presenting that knowledge) which have beensuppressed in order to privilege “standard” procedures and formats. Presenting this paper in a question-and-answer format is my way of bringing back into theacademic scene what has long been familiar to us in the magazines of popular culture that some of us read everyday. It is also my way of advocating for anoutlook in society that is egalitarian, and that celebrates diversity rather thanassign hierarchies in matters of everyday existence, even in term paper formats.
What does this paper attempt to achieve?
This paper aims to explore the contributions of the Buddhist religion on the statusof women in the society, specifically in relation to women’s liberation from patriarchy.
What do we already know about Buddhism?
Religion shapes what we do, to a very considerable extent. The notion of aSupreme Being makes religious teachings very influential in a person’s way of living. Yet even in godless religions like Buddhism, religious precepts constitutethe rules by which people negotiate a personal as well as a social life. SiddhartaGautama, The Buddha, was the first religious teacher who gave opportunities for spiritual development to women with a status equal to that of men(Dhammananda, 1989). The Buddhist life, as prescribed by The Buddha, thereforecarries with it an innate emancipatory character that ought to be practiced by hisfollowers. It is from this context that I will set out to delve into the present practices of Buddhism in relation to the feminist vision of gender justice.
What are the two main traditions of Buddhism?
Buddhism has two main traditions, namely the Mahayana tradition and theTheravada tradition. These traditions differ in their philosophical interpretation of the dharma. The Mahayana tradition is widespread in China, Taiwan, Korea, Japanand Tibet, while the Theravada tradition is common in Sri Lanka, Thailand,Cambodia, Lao and Burma. “The position of nuns [female Buddhists in thereligious order] is different in the Mahayana and Theravada traditions. While bothtraditions originally permitted nuns, there are currently no surviving orders of fully-ordained nuns in the Theravada countries.” (Fitz-Gerald, 1992).
How was the general aim of this paper approached?
In this paper I critically reviewed existing articles on the status of women inBuddhism. These articles were acquired from the books available in the SakyaBuddhist Temple in Cabaguio Avenue, Davao City. I also conducted an onlinesearch for articles on the subject matter. The search brought me to some websitesand online journals specializing on women and Buddhism, from which I gotrelevant articles.A second methodology I employed in approaching the objective of this paper is akey person interview with a Buddhist. Mr Nhuan Pham is an English-speakingmale Vietnamese who is a member of the Sakya Buddhist community here inDavao. He was a monk aspirant when he came to Davao City seven years ago. Hestayed in the Sakya Buddhist Temple in Cabaguio for 2 ½ years before he decidedto pursue a Buddhist layman’s life and eventually got married.
Why a male Buddhist as a respondent for a paper on women?
The Sakya Buddhist community in Davao City is very small. Sakya Buddhistsfollow the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism. There are only about thirty Buddhistswho frequent the Sakya Buddhist Temple in Cabaguio Avenue. Most of theseBuddhist practitioners, including one monk and two nuns, are Chinese-speaking.Owing to the paucity of possible research partners, I have decided to conduct akey person interview to the only English-speaking Buddhist that I have met here inDavao City.The articles on the status of Buddhist women, which I will review in a while, aremostly written by females. Nhuan’s accounts of his experiences in the templecould elucidate Buddhist women’s role in a place of religious activity from the point of view of a man.
Luminary Buddhist Nuns in contemporary Taiwan: A quietfeminist movement
Who are the Luminary nuns in Taiwan?
Luminary nuns are Mahayana Buddhist nuns in Taiwan who are well-trained inBuddhist doctrines, practices and precepts. Luminary nuns nowadays project animage of knowledgeable and disciplined nuns. Their temple can be found in a ruralvillage in Southern Taiwan.
Are Luminary nuns feminists?
Luminary nuns have been labeled by Wei-yi Cheng as feminists. Chengemphasizes, however that the label “feminist” is her own. Buddhist nuns in Taiwando not like to be labeled feminist for religious and political reasons. Feminism, for them, connotes challenging a patriarchal tradition. The act of challenging what has been present for so many generations is not something very familiar to them.Besides, Buddhism believes that the difference in sex is an illusion. The ideal practice of Buddhism attempts to transcend whatever biological differences thereis in sex. Being feminist may run counter to this pursuit, since feminismacknowledges men/women duality and does not aim to transcend such.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->