Today’s Lecture Questions about the possible exam questions



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Today’s Lecture

  • Questions about the possible exam questions

  • Readings for the remaining weeks.

  • Meditation lecture

  • Part III of UW, essays 8, 9, 13 and 16



  • Questions about the possible exam questions?

  • Final comments about last week’s guest lecture?

Readings for the remaining weeks (still tentative)

  • Week Eleven (November 18th): Part IV of UW, essays 13 and 16.

  • Week Twelve (November 25th): Part IV of UW, essays 17 and 18.

  • Week Thirteen (December 2nd): Part V of UW, essays 19 and 22.

Meditation lecture

  • In my Asian Philosophies class we are having a guest lecturer, Teresa Bryant, give us a lecture on Buddhist meditation, with, perhaps, a brief guided meditation.

  • The lecture is on Tuesday, November 26th from 12:00-12:50 p.m. in TC 309.

  • Though this is NOT required for this class, you are all welcome to come and hear the lecture.

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • General Framework: This essay focuses on the practices of high caste women in a village (Karimpur) 150 miles from Delhi (p.104).

  • Members of the Brahman caste in this village are farmers (as are most men in the village).

  • “[I]s is a sign of a family’s low status if the women work outside of the home” (p.104).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Purdah restrictions are followed by the wealthier, and young married, women in Karimpur.

  • As with the women in Nimkhera, the poorer women of Karimpur have difficulties observing purdah restrictions (p.104). Only the wealthier families can afford to have the younger (married) women working inside, rather than outside, the home (pp.86, 104).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Within Karimpur homes women are restricted to the inner rooms and courtyard, while the men, though able to enter the courtyard (and presumably the wife’s sleeping quarters), tend to stay in the outer room or adjoining verandah (p.104).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • “It is not surprising ... that women’s desires, as expressed in their rituals, are those of their world - the household - while the men’s concerns are focused primarily on the outer world. Since the world affects women differently than it does men, women’s symbols of hope and prosperity are also different from men’s symbols” (p.105).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • A question to ask yourself at this point: If a woman’s experience is so thoroughly circumscribed as it is in the examples of many of the Hindu women in our essays, how does this affect her autonomy? Is this a worry?

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Women in Karimpur participate in twenty rituals within a given year.

  • “Of these twenty rituals ... three involve directly worshipping male relatives. In these rituals the male relative is actually the deity worshipped, and offerings are made directly to him. Four rituals involve the worshipping of a deity for the protection of a particular family member. Another four annual rituals are concerned with obtaining protection for one’s family in general. Nine more rituals seek household prosperity” (p.105).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Caveats to Wadley’s introduction:

  • (1) “First, living human beings can be, and often are, deities in Karimpur, as are plows, snakes, bullocks, and wheat seedlings .... The basic rule is that any being that a person considers more powerful than himself or herself in any particular realm of life can become an object of worship” (p.105).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • (2) All of the twenty rituals just mentioned are performed by females, and do not require the presence of a supervisory priest, or religious specialist (p.105).

  • (3) Women in Karimpur engage in three general kinds of religious practice: (i) fasts, (ii) worship (puja) and (iii) devotional singing (p.105).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Brother’s Second: “On this day women worship their brothers, if the brothers are present in the village, or images of their brothers, if they are not present” (p.107).

  • Brother’s are significant in a sister’s life for at least three reasons: (i) The brother is her tie to her family (and natal village) (p.107).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • (ii) As he is charged with escorting her home for visits during the year (particularly if the woman is of a higher caste), he is seen as somewhat of a liberator or deliverer from the pressures associated with living in her husband’s family (pp.107-08).

  • (iii) The brother is charged with bringing gifts from the sister’s to her husband’s family. This role is crucial to the woman’s happiness within her husband’s home (p.108).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • This ceremony has the twofold significance of seeking the protection of her brother AND the well-being of this “protector” (pp.106, 108).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Marriage worship: “In this ritual the gift given to the groom’s family is his long life. And only a faithful, worshipful wife can give this gift. On this day, women fast and worship the goddess Savitri and a banyan tree in order to ensure a long married life, health for their husbands, and many sons” (p.110).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Traditionally, the husband is important for several reasons. (i) Devotion to her husband, is a wife’s sign of good character (p.109). (ii) A woman’s hope for salvation is tied to her devotion to her husband (p.109). (iii) A widow is regarded as inauspicious and treated with suspicion (p.109). (iv) “[H]aving a husband around to note mistreatment is considered crucial for a woman’s protection [with his family]” (p.110).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Lampblack Mother: “Women’s desires for sons are expressed in the ritual known as Lampblack Mother, in which women express their desire for sons and also seek their sons’ continued welfare” (p.111).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Sons are desired over daughters (p.111) for at least the following reasons: (i) they are needed for ancestral rites, (ii) they will take care of the mother in the unfortunate event of widowhood, (iii) they “make up the family labor force” (p.111) and (iv) “mothers and sons have the strongest emotional affinity of any kinship pair” (p.111).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Snake’s Fifth: During this ritual, which takes place during the monsoon season, women seek protection for their family from snakes (p.112).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Festival of Lights: In this ritual “the head of the household, with his wife at his side, worships Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. ... Lakshmi is entreated to visit the household during the coming year” (p.112).

  • Though it is men who “dominate these activities”, the wife is charged with exorcising the evil spirits that may be inhabiting the house (rooms and courtyard) (p.112).

Wadley: Hindu Women’s Family and Household Rites

  • Thoughts?

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • This study is limited to the habisha rites in the Indian province of Orissa.

  • Freeman focuses upon the particular experiences of Tila Sahu and Padma Bewa (p.115).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • “For a period of thirty-five days in October-November, women vow to the deity Jagannatha (a form of Vishnu or Krishna) that they will perform purificatory rituals and fasts to protect their families or to improve themselves spiritually” (p.115).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • Habisha rituals: Some matters of note. (i) A Brahman priest is needed to purify the habisha devotee (p.116). (ii) The habisha devotee tends to be post-menopausal, though still married (p.115, 117). (iii) This ritual is expensive (the women devote themselves to this ritual for a little over a month), and so it tends to be performed by higher caste women (pp.115, 116, 122, 123).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • (iv) The devotional singing and dancing is not supposed to be witnessed by males (p.118). (v) The devotional singing and dancing involve an expression of passion and emotion otherwise frowned upon (p.121).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • It is clear that for Tila Sahu these rites, and visits to the holy city of Puri (it contains a temple to the Lord Jagannatha [pp.115-16]), offer the hope of union with God (pp.119-20).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • Padma Bewa’s devotion to the habisha rites over the thirty years she observed the rituals arose partially from the blessings she hoped to receive, and partially from her devotion to Jagannatha (pp.120-21). Interestingly, both Tila and Padma talk of losing themselves, or desiring to lose themselves, in God (pp.119, 120).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • The significance of habisha in the life cycles of women:As I have already said, these rituals tend to be performed by “menopausal, married, upper-caste women” (p.122).

  • Freeman offers two reasons for why these rituals tend to be performed by higher caste women: (i) The difficulties facing higher caste widows and (ii) their economic dependency on their husbands (p.122).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • Freeman offers five reasons for why younger, higher caste women don’t usually participate in habisha rituals: (i) Menstruating women are ritually unclean for part of the month set aside for habisha rites, and so cannot perform the rites on those days. (ii) The devotional singing and dancing are considered inappropriate for woman of childbearing age (in contrast to the perception of such behavior in older women) (p.123).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • (iii) The habisha rites are expensive and time-consuming. Younger women bear a greater domestic load than their elders. (iv) The rites used to be performed by widows. This association might make them inappropriate for younger women. (v) Younger women have less reason to think their husbands are near death (p.123).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • That these rites involve married women is tacitly explained by one of the reasons for performing them: “to keep husbands alive” (p.122).

Freeman: The Ladies of Lord Krishna

  • Thoughts, reactions?

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran (some initial comments)

  • Do note that this essay nicely complements essay #11 (Betteridge’s essay on the rowzeh ceremonies). We have an important contrast between those fairing better and those fairing worse under a masculinist form of Islam.

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran (some initial comments)

  • Also note, as noted by Friedl on page 160, “[r]eligious authorities and government agents are quick to point out that Islam, if practiced ‘correctly’, would make life much better for tribal people, especially women”.

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran (some initial comments)

  • There are at least two observations of note from this quote. First, there is a recognition that a more Quranic Islam would benefit the women discussed in this essay. Second, it is problematic to talk of the ‘correct practice’ of x, where x is a religious tradition with the history and rich diversity of practice as Islam.

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran (some initial comments)

  • As we have recently noted in the essays on the conditions of religious practiced experienced by Hindu women, there is a distinction that plays out between those who can afford to live in accord with severe restrictions on the activities of, or value accorded, women and those who cannot.

  • The economic conditions that give rise to this distinction come with a cost. Those women who cannot live in accord with the aforementioned restrictions are seen as spiritually inferior to those who can (see pp.157-58).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran (some initial comments)

  • This cost impacts the very self-conception of the women affected. Thus you have Friedl write:

  • “When asked, for example, how many women there might be in paradise in relation to men, one woman in Deh Koh went so far as to say that she thought there were only a few women in heaven other than saints. This, she said, was God’s will because otherwise God would have arranged things so that women wouldn’t be ritually impure so often and wouldn’t have weak, sinful characters” (p.164).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran (some initial comments)

  • Note Friedl’s caution about generalizing too quickly over the context of Iranian Shi’a Islam.

  • “As religious beliefs and practices reflect many cultural and economic factors, we can expect to find a variety of religious systems in different Shi’ite communities” (p.158).

  • Essay #11 is a case in point.

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • The tribal form of Shi’a Islam is coming under increasing stress from government efforts to better the conditions of those living in the rural areas through educational programs, and the increasing urbanization of Iranian society.

  • Within Iranian urban centers you see a diversity of views, pro and anti-conservative Islam, that are beginning (albeit slowly for women) to affect the outlook of those outside the bigger cities and towns through government programs and media like television (p.158).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • Of note in Friedl’s discussion: (1) There is a, not insignificant, distinction in the literacy rates of younger (school age) and older (work age) women (pp.158-59). Outside of family and school, (a) television, (b) the local mosque, and (c) itinerant preachers are the main sources of religious ‘knowledge’ for women (p.159).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • The format of the relevant television programs and the work schedules of the older women, however, greatly diminish the impact religious television programs have on their lives (p.159).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • The local mosque continues to be primarily the religious center in the lives of local Muslim men. Women are more often than not left on the periphery of worship activities that take place within, or in relation to, the local mosque (pp.159-60).

  • Interestingly, their participation, when expected, is marginal or greeted with suspicion (pp.159-60).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • With regards to women observing ritual processions for Islamic saints, “some people question the women’s motives for attending, claiming that women watch the young men in the processions lustily and entice them to sinful displays of virility during the ritual flagellation and chest-beating routines” (p.160).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • “During a funeral ... women function as mourners, crying and singing around the body while a grave is dug. As soon as the body is buried and the prayers begin ... the women retreat or leave altogether” (p.160).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • Finally, itinerant preachers, whose presentations offer no “particular educational value” (p.159), are dismissed by many men as “undignified spectacles” (p.159).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • Those daily practices with religious overtones available to older rural women (e.g various rituals aimed at purification or protection form evil spirits) are devalued as unIslamic (pp.160-61).

  • Even the content of vows to Islamic saints, a practice rural women freely engage in, is adversely affected by the means and expected reluctance of their husbands to co-operate (p.161).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • The younger rural women who receive formal religious education in school find it difficult to practice what they have learned within a rural environment. What’s more, attempts to more faithfully adhere to Quranic precepts can place them in conflict with their families (e.g. over rights of inheritance) (p.160).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • (2) There is a decided difference in the moral expectations for men and women.

  • “For men, good conduct is defined rather generally, and moral commands are few and dramatic.... Some commandments are taken to be more important than others, and offenses against a lesser one can be justified if they are deemed necessary to fulfill a more important one” (p.162).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • “For women the boundaries of good behavior are narrower, and the moral code is more specific than men. Obedience to her father or husband and submission to the legitimate authority of men are absolutely essential. Taking care of husband and children competently and industriously, behaving modestly, peacefully, and kindly, minding her own business and not giving cause for gossip are the next most important commandments for women.”

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • “... Unlike men, women are rarely allowed excuses for failure. There is no valid excuse for disobeying a husband, for fighting with a neighbor, for neglecting a child, or for gossiping. Thus, women generally regard themselves as ‘more sinful’ than men” (p.162).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • (3) Stories can reinforce the prevalent view that women ought to be completely submissive to the authority of the husbands, that they are prone to wander from the path of good conduct, or that they are morally, intellectually and spiritually inferior to men (see pp.162-64, 165).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • “Most of them present a negative image of women: women appear as bad wives, evil forces, antagonists of the hero, or just ridiculous figures. Through these stories women learn that they are unimportant, foolish, or threatening to men” (p.163).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • (4) There are, not insignificant, differences in the descriptions of the afterlife awaiting both faithful and unfaithful men and women. In contrast to the aforementioned difference in the moral expectations for men and women, there are greater details provided of the rewards for faithful men than for faithful women, while there are greater details provided of the punishments of unfaithful women than for unfaithful men (p.163).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • Older rural women are disadvantaged religiously in at least two ways:

  • (1) Their life-styles make it much more difficult to adhere to the good conduct, or right path, expected of them than it is for their male counter-parts (p.164).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • (2) The religious narrative, which explains a woman’s moral failure by way of her weak character, enables her ‘immoral’ behavior. Such behavior only serves to confirm the very religious narrative which, in its turn, continues to inform the self-image that enables yet further moral ‘failure’ (p.164).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • “Women’s weaknesses are taken to be a key problem in this world. One man declared that a woman’s weak character is as unalterable as a man’s inability to fly. But like other problematic conditions in this world, a woman’s disposition has to be accepted as God-given.”

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • “For women, then, free will and choice are impaired severely, and even religion cannot provide an effective incentive for choosing certain morally good behavior because religion also supports the notion that these behaviors contradict women’s God-given nature. Despite this predicament, however, no form of a woman’s bad behavior is ever excused by the generally inferior stuff women are said to be made of. It is only explained by it” (p.164).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • In conclusion there are three basic attitudes present in the areas of Friedl’s study.

  • (i) There is a movement, increasing in size, to see the ‘return’ of local Islam to its Quranic foundations, while, at the same time, jettisoning the misogynist interpretations of Quranic teaching (p.165).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • (ii) There is an influential traditionalist and often misogynist view of women which sees them as morally weak and prone to sin (p.165).

  • (iii) There is a prevalent view that our characters constitute a burden given to each of us by God, and a resignation to a life informed by this character, for good or ill (p.165).

Friedl: Islam and Tribal Women in Iran

  • Any thoughts before going on?

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns (preliminary comments)

  • Remember there has been a deep ambivalence to the spiritual status of women in much of the Buddhist world.

  • Though the Buddha taught that both women and men could achieve awakening, even as lay followers, female monastics have enjoyed a markedly lower status than that enjoyed by their male counter-parts.

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns (preliminary comments)

  • This markedly lower status is affirmed in the Vinayapitaka, the code of conduct for monastics, where we find extra rules for females that contain a clear masculinist bias.

  • In the country of origin for Buddhism, India, there are no indigenous female monastics who can claim an unbroken lineage to the teaching ministry of Siddartha.

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns

  • “[T]he major problem of the women’s order probably rested in the Buddhist tradition’s inability to affirm completely the idea of women pursuing the renunciant’s role. This lead to an institutional structure that offered women admirable opportunities for spiritual and intellectual growth, but not for the institutional and scholarly leadership that such growth should have fitted them to assume” (p.197).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - Now you see them...

  • Falk divides the history of the female Buddhist monastic order into three broad periods: (1) The primitive period (stretching from the ministry of the Buddha to the rule of the great Buddhist monarch, Ashoka), (2) the middle period (stretching between Ashoka’s kingdom and the end of the Third Ccentury C.E.), and (3) the period of decline (stretching from the beginning of the Fourth Century C.E. to their eventual disappearance from India in and around the Ninth Century C.E.) (pp.197-98).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - Now you see them...

  • During the first, primitive, period you can read of a thriving community of female monastics, consisting of women from many walks of life (including the upper and middle classes/castes) as well as a range of ages (from young to old).

  • The Therigatha contains the poetic testimonies of female monastics who had awakened during this period of Buddhist history (p.197).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - Now you see them...

  • During the second period, when “the Buddhist order became a significant religious force throughout India” (p.197), there is evidence of a female monastic community almost rivaling in size and wealth the male monastic community found during the same period in similar locations (pp.197-98).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - Now you see them...

  • During the third period the Buddhist monastic orders are in decline, both in numbers, wealth and influence.

  • Though there is no doubt that the male monastic order is in a similar decline to that experienced within the female monastic community, the female monastic community succumbed faster (p.198).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - Now you see them...

  • Curiously, during this period, which contains the most records of any period of Indian Buddhism, there is little mention of female monastics. From the records we know of the presence of female monastics in east India as late as the Seventh Century C.E., but as I Ching observed, they lived under restrictive codes of travel and in considerable poverty (particularly considering the wealth of their male counter-parts) (p.198).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - An economic matter

  • Two factors, important to the economic dependence of the monastic orders on greater population of Buddhists or their patrons, are of note.

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - An economic matter

  • (1) Even after the monastic communities moved from being a loose group of wandering renunciants to occupants of established monasteries, an institutionalized ‘poverty’ continued that left the orders dependent on donations from the lay community. Their fortunes were inextricably tied to the wealth and number of lay Buddhist followers (p.199).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - An economic matter

  • (2) During the period of greatest decline, when the number of Buddhist lay followers was drastically diminishing, monastics might still receive support from aristocratic or royal families who, though perhaps not Buddhist, sought the prestige associated with such economic support (p.199).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - An economic matter

  • As this prestige largely arose from the respect accorded male Buddhist scholars, female monastics did not benefit from this turn of affairs (p.199).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - Almost equal

  • We can note that the monastic code, or Vinaya, is largely to blame for the perceived inequality of female and male monastics (p.201).

  • Though many of the rules applied equally to females and males, nuns were instructed to treat all monks as their senior, not to reside where monks could not supervise them, to invite the criticisms of monks during the annual ceremony which sought the guidance of the greater monastic community, not to revile monks or reprimand them directly (p.201).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - Almost equal

  • Falk notes that we need to be cautious in our view of these rules. There is little doubt that Buddhist nuns enjoyed a great deal more freedom, spiritual and educational opportunities than their Hindu contemporaries. Nor is there much evidence that Buddhist nuns viewed themselves as spiritually inferior to monks.

  • There is little doubt, however, that the same cannot be said for those outside of the monastic communities (p.201).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - One hand gives ...

  • Within the Buddhist literary tradition, in particular the stories and instructions circulated within the wider community you will find two themes touching on nuns: (1) evaluations of the spiritual capacities and communal role of nuns, and (2) portrayals of their spiritual accomplishments or religious activities (p.202).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - One hand gives ...

  • Throughout this literary tradition you encounter an ambivalence regarding the status of female monastics.

  • On the one hand there are stories celebrating the great spiritual accomplishments of Buddhist nuns, such as the acquisition of various extraordinary powers, great skill in teaching the Buddhadharma, and spiritual strength in the face of temptation (pp.202-03).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - One hand gives ...

  • On the other hand, there are stories that speak of various failures experienced by nuns in their pursuit of the Path. A not infrequent theme is that of nuns being unable to acquire awakening as quickly as their male contemporaries. We must not forget the received story of Mahaprajapati’s efforts to get the Buddha to allow women to take monastic vows (p.203).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - One hand gives ...

  • “The Master finally relented, but he extracted the women’s promise to observe the eight rules as a condition for their admission. Many versions of this story include a particularly vicious coda: because the women had been admitted as renunciants, the Master announced afterward, his teaching would last only five hundred years instead of the thousand that he had originally anticipated” (pp.203-04).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - One hand gives ...

  • When coupling this with the predominantly positive stories about the activities of female lay followers that can be encountered in the Buddhist literary tradition “one cannot escape the impression that the community was more comfortable with its laywomen that with its nuns and that it probably found the latter’s presence to be an embarrassment” (p.204).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - When models conflict

  • In finishing the discussion, Falk draws on what she believes to be two conflicting models of sexual difference to explain the ambivalence felt within Buddhism regarding its female monastics.

  • (1) One model, which Falk takes to be a properly Buddhist model, sees sexual difference, like other differences affecting the character, quality of life, or life choices of individuals, as a working out of karmic forces. As an individual walks the Path of Purification, these manifestations of past karma are gradually overcome (p.204).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - When models conflict

  • “This means essentially that the process of spiritual development, in which the renunciant’s vocation represents a relatively advanced step, tends to nullify sexual identifications and limitations. This ideal of convergence of the sexes is reflected in the renunciants’ identical clothes, as well as in their virtually identical spiritual paths and disciplines” (p.204).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - When models conflict

  • (2) The other model is, according to Falk, inherited from the surrounding Indian socio-religious context in which Buddhism continued to mature. The subordination of female monastics to their male counter-parts, as well as the valuing of the pious lay women who live in conformity to those restrictions associated with stridharma, are consistent with the Patriarchal Hinduism represented in such dharmashastras as the Laws of Manu (pp.204-05).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns - When models conflict

  • “Buddhism was a path of enlightenment, not a revolutionary vision of renewed social order. It made peace with Hindu dharma’s precepts wherever it could, often incorporating them into its own prescriptions for ordinary human behavior and social relationships.... We can therefore suspect that many Buddhists, like Hindus, also preferred to see women at the hearth rather than on the road or within a monastery’s walls” (p.205).

Falk: The case of the vanishing nuns

  • Thoughts?





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