From Library Journal
Since 1987, Buddhists from around the world have met recurrently under the auspices of Sakyadhita, the International Association of Buddhist Women, at least partly to ascertain "in what ways is Buddhism a constraint for women and in what ways is it liberative?" In 16 essays treating "Buddhist Women in Asian Traditions," "Contemporary Buddhist Women," and "Shaping New Traditions," 15 authors develop themes first explored in those conferences. One of the organizers, Bhiksuni (i.e., Buddhist nun) Tsomo, author of Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women (SUNY, 1996), has edited a collection that advances the ongoing multicultural conversation while suffering somewhat from tedious repetition. Suitable for research collections emphasizing Buddhism or comparative women's studies.AJames R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville Lib.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
"The topics of women and feminist interpretation have become very important in many academic fields in the humanities and social sciences. Buddhist studies is no exception. Indeed, the feminine, women, sexuality, and gender have virtually become a subfield in Buddhist studies. So, the topic of this book is important in its own right but also for what it contributes to other fields. What strikes me as especially valuable about this volume is its relatively synoptic/inclusive nature, thereby giving it a very timely role in the current literature on Buddhism, women, and sexuality." - Donald K. Swearer, author of The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia
Scholars and practitioners from a variety of Buddhist cultures, philosophical traditions, and academic disciplines analyze important dimensions of the new cross-cultural Buddhist women's movement: the status and experiences of women in Buddhist societies, feminist interpretation of Buddhist tenets, and the relationship of women to Buddhist institutions. Buddhist Women Across Cultures documents both women's struggle for religious equality in Asian Buddhist cultures as well as the process of creating Buddhist feminist identity across national and ethnic boundaries as Buddhism gains attention in the West. The book contributes significantly to an understanding of women and religion in both Western and non-Western cultures.
Contributors include Paula Arai, Cait Collins, Lorna Devaraja, Beata Grant, Rita Gross, Theja Gunawardhana, Elizabeth Harris, Anne Klein, Sarah Pinto, Dharmacharini Sanghadevi, Sara Shneiderman, Haeju Sunim (Ho-Ryeaon Jeon), Senarat Wijayasundara, and Janice D. Willis.
"What I like most about this book is the scope-feminism/Buddhism-in cross- cultural contexts. There is no other book like it. Buddhist Women Across Cultures articulates vital strands of the process which the author so aptly terms the 'feminization of Buddhism.'
"This is the only anthology that really works with these issues from cross-cultural and feminist perspectives. This insight makes the anthology stand out in the rapidly growing area of Buddhism/feminism-perhaps the key book to reconfigure the field at present and for some time to come." - Jeffner Allen, State University of New York at Binghamton