Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns: Biographies as History

Hardcover | March 18, 2016

byAlice Collett

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Based on new translations of Pali texts and rare sources, Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns analyses the portrayal of women in the Pali canon and commentaries. Focusing on the differences between canonical and commentarial literature, the author goes beyond the practice of using the commentaries tomerely enhance the understanding of the Pali canon; she emphasizes the differing social and historical milieus out of which these genres of literature were born. Assessing each genre on its own terms, the work demonstrates that the Pali canon, contrary to how it has been presented previously, ismore favourable to women. The first part of the volume contains biographies of the six best-known Buddhist nuns who were considered to have been direct disciples of the Buddha. These biographies throw light on gender relations as they evolved in the early centuries of Buddhism in India. The life stories also serve as thefoundation for discussion of Buddhist women in the second part. From notions of beauty and adornment to family, class, and marriage, various themes in the biographies are explored in this work, and through this exploration the changing form of Buddhism in early India is captured.

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Based on new translations of Pali texts and rare sources, Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns analyses the portrayal of women in the Pali canon and commentaries. Focusing on the differences between canonical and commentarial literature, the author goes beyond the practice of using the commentaries tomerely enhance the understanding of the Pal...

Alice Collett teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, York St John University, UK.

other books by Alice Collett

Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 8.46 × 5.51 × 0.96 inPublished:March 18, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019945907X

ISBN - 13:9780199459070

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Table of Contents

ContentsJonathan S. Walters: ForewordAcknowledgementsList of abbreviationsGeneral introductionPart one: Pali biographiesIntroduction1. Dhammadinna2. Khema3. Kisagotami4. Paacara5. Bhadda Kualakesa6. UppalavaaPart two: Themes and issues7. Female teachers: Dhammadinna8. Female beauty: Khema9. Female wanderers: Kisagotami10. Family, marriage, and class: Paacaara11. Female conversion: Bhadda Kualakesa23. Female characteristics: UppalavaaConclusionAfterword by Martin SeegerGlossaryBibliographyIndexAbout the author