The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity and Gender

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Innumerable studies have appeared in recent decades about practically every aspect of womens lives in Western societies. The few such works on Buddhism have been quite limited in scope. In The Power o...
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Innumerable studies have appeared in recent decades about practically every aspect of womens 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.
Uitgever John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Druk 1
ISBN/EAN 9780691091716
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