‘FEMINIST’ BUDDHISM AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT FROM A CONTEMPORARY CHINESE PERSPECTIVE
As the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals has proposed, eliminating all possible gender inequalities is of priority for a more sustainable and progressive human society. Buddhist religion cannot avert such a modern agenda. But how such a goal can be achieved varies hugely, especially in the Chinese context. Rather than seeing the rise of ‘Feminist’ critique of Buddhism in both mainland China and Taiwan as homogeneous to Western feminist movements in religion, this article tries to reveal the diverse approaches of Chinese Buddhist elites to reconcile gender equality issues with Chinese Buddhist doctrines and other traditions in China. In particular, this article shows that certain Buddhists in mainland China deny the possibility of launching a Western-like ‘Feminist’ purge of Buddhism and argue that for sustainable development of both Buddhism and Chinese society, Buddhist traditions should not be put in the opposite to gender equality. It means that not only a separation between normative Chinese Buddhism and Buddhism as a social reality is needed, but that within the sphere of normative Buddhism, the ‘worldly dharma’ and the ‘transcendental dharma’ should be treated with more nuanced perspectives.
Baidu Tieba. “Nüquan zhuyi zhe keneng xinfeng fojiao ma?” <https://tieba.baidu.com/p/3338182343> 1 July 2021.
Balkwill, Stephanie. “The Sūtra on Transforming the Female Form: Unpacking an Early Medieval Chinese Buddhist Text.” Journal of Chinese Religions 44. 2 (2016): 127-148.
Bianchi, Ester. “Subtle Erudition and Compassionate Devotion: Longlian (1909-2006), the Most Outstanding Bhiksuni in Modern China.” The Making of Saints in Modern and Contemporary China: Profiles in Religious Leadership. Eds. V. Goossaert, Ji Zhe, D. Ownby. Oxford University Press, 2016. 272-311.
Bianchi, Ester. “Transmitting the Precepts in Conformity with the Dharma: Restoration, Adaptation, and Standardisation of Ordination Procedures.” Buddhism after Mao: Negotiations, Continuities, and Reinventions. Eds. Zhe Ji, Gareth Fisher and André Laliberté. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 152-170.
Chang Hongxing. “Taixu dashi nüxing guan yanjiu.” 2019 Xingyun dashi renjian fojiao lilun shijian yanjiu (2020): 680-702.
Chen Jianhuang. “Fojiao lunshu nüxing zhangai xiuxing de xiangguan xingsi.” Wen yu zhe 13 (2008): 1-44.
Chen, Chiung H.” Feminist Debate in Taiwan’s Buddhism: The Issue of the Eight Garudhammas.” Journal of Feminist Scholarship 1 (2018): 16-32.
Foxue Yanjiu Wang. “Qiantan ‘hexie’ zai sengtuan zhong de tixian: ‘Bajing fa’ de renshi yu cunzai.” 2011. <http://www.wuys.com/news/Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=33936> 1 September 2021.
Gross, Rita. Buddhism beyond Gender: Liberation from the Attachment to Identity. Boulder: Shambhala Publications, Inc. 2018.
Harrison, Paul. “Women in the Pure Land: Some Reflections on the Textual Sources.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 26.6 (1998): 553-572.
Hsieh, Ding-hwa E. “Images of Women in Ch’an Buddhist Literature of the Sung Period.” In Buddhism in the Sung. Eds. Peter N. Gregory and Daniel A. Getz Jr. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002. 148-187.
Huang, Chien-Yu Julia, and Robert P. Weller. “Merit and Mothering: Women and Social Welfare in Taiwanese Buddhism.” The Journal of Asian Studies 57. 2 (1998): 379–396.
Jian Ruiyao. 2007. Mingdai funü fojiao xinyang yu shehui guifan. Taichung: Don hai daxue tongshi jiaoyu zhongxin.
Kajiyama, Yuichi. “Women in Buddhism.” Eastern Buddhist 15. 2 (1982): 53–70.
Laliberté, André. “Buddhist Revival under State Watch.” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 40. 2(2011): 107-134.
Pacey, Scott. “Taixu, Yogācāra, and the Buddhist Approach to Modernity.” Transforming Consciousness: Yogacara Thought in Modern China. Ed. John Makeham. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 149-169.
Qiu Shanshan. Dangdai diyi biqiu ni: Longlian fashi zhuan. Fuzhou: Fujian meishu chuban she. 1997.
Romberg, Claudia. “Women in engaged Buddhism.” Contemporary Buddhism: An Interdisciplinary Journal 3.2 (2002), 161-170.
Shengyan. “Ruhe tupo chuantong fojiao de nüxing diwei?” Fenghuang wang 2011. <https://fo.ifeng.com/guandian/detail_2011_03/03/4948294_0.shtml> 1 September 2021.
Sponberg, Alan. Attitudes toward women and the feminine in early Buddhism. In Buddhism, Sexuality and Gender. Eds. J. Cabezon. Delhi: Sri Satguru, 1992. 3–36.
Taixu. Taixu dashi quanshu. Taipei: Taixu dashi quanshu bianwei hui. 1956.
United Nations. “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” <https://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E> 30 April 2021.
Valussi, Elena “Gender as a Useful Category of Analysis in Chinese Religions – With Two Case Studies from The Republican Period.” Volume III Key Concepts in Practice. Eds. Paul R. Katz and Stefania Travagnin. Boston: De Gruyter, 2019: 133-178.
Wang Shuigen. “’Bajing fa’ de Zhongguo nüxing lunli zaoyu.” Shijie zongjiao yanjiu 1 (2011): 41-49.
Wang, Xing. “Rethinking Gender and Female Laity in Late Imperial Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Biographies.” Religions 12.9 (2021): 705.
Xingyun. “Fojiao jiang nüquan ma? Zai fojiao li nüxing shi shouren zunjing de.” Fenghuang wang 2011. <https://fo.ifeng.com/guandian/detail_2011_03/02/4925310_0.shtml> 1 September 2021.
Xingyun. “Nüren shichang.” Renjian fubao 2021. <https://www.merittimes.com/NewsPage.aspx?unid=61142> 1 September 2021.
Xinlang Foxue. “Bajing fa shizai qishi nüxing ma?” <http://fo.sina.com.cn/intro/basic/2018-03-13/doc-ifyscsmu8306932.shtml> 1 September 2021.
Yuan Yuan. “Chinese Buddhist Nuns in the Twentieth Century: A Case Study in Wuhan.” Journal of Global Buddhism 10 (2009): 375-412.
Zhaohui. “Jiegou fomen nanxing shamen zhuyi.” Fenghuang wang 2011. <https://fo.ifeng.com/special/fomenzhongdenvxing/nvquannahan/detail_2011_03/02/4932913_0.shtml> 1 May 2021.
Zhihu. “Bajing fa shifou bu minzhu, da nüquan renshi de huyu.” <https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/262166293> 1 May 2021.
Zhihu. “Fojiao yu nüquan zhuyi: Dui ershi yi shijichu fojiao de nüquan zhuyi pinggu.” <https://www.zhihu.com/search?type=content&q=%E4%BD%9B%E6%95%99%20%E5%A5%B3%E6%9D%83> 1 September 2021.
Zhihu. “Fojiao zhong Yaoshi liuli guang rulai benyuan gongde jing diba dayuan shifou goucheng xingbie qishi?” <https://www.zhihu.com/question/56347128> 18 June 2021.
Zhihu. “Fojing li de ‘nüzhuan nanshen’ shi zenme huishi?” <https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/145914196> 21 June 2021.
Zhihu. “Nanshen qibao, nüshen wulou, nüren buneng chengfo?” <https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/165007853> 11 June 2021.
Zhihu. “Nüzi yao zhuan nanshen caineng chengfo, zhesuan fodao de xingbie qishi ma?” 2016. <https://www.zhihu.com/question/35170043/answer/129224867> 1 September 2021.
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Dharma
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.