ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Locating Gender in Religion and Culture

The Buddhist Women of North-East India and South-West China by Jayanti Alam (New Delhi: Akansha Publishing House), 2013; pp 282, Rs 1,050.

A renowned Buddhist scholar, in an informal discussion, had once remarked that, as far as women are concerned, Buddha was a disaster. Her statement may not be accurate, but does reflect a complex and ambivalent understanding of gender in the Buddhist tradition. On the one hand, the Buddhist doctrine posits an ultimate state of bliss beyond all gender distinctions, while on the other, many early Buddhist texts evidence anti-feminine attitudes. The manifestation of the Buddhist position in the experiences of practitioners and their communities is certainly more significant than the textual positions.

The Buddhist Women of North-East India and South-West China by Jayanti Alam is an extensive survey of gender relations and their implications in specific Buddhist tribes. Having spent a long time in the proximity of Himalayan tribes, coupled with a background of extensive research on Tibetan society, the author was motivated to examine the gender-equal aspects of Tibetan society more closely, and to extend her research to the culturally congruent tribes of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The author has limited her study to the tribes that practise Buddhism for practical purposes of a sharp focus and comparative analysis.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.