Cover image for Soaring and settling : Buddhist perspectives on contemporary social and religious issues
Soaring and settling : Buddhist perspectives on contemporary social and religious issues
Gross, Rita M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Continuum, 1998.
Physical Description:
xiii, 238 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BQ4570.S6 G76 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Continuum congratulates Rita M. Gross on being the recipient of the 1999 Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.As a practicing Buddhist for over 20 years, Rita Gross is concerned with how Eastern wisdom traditions transform our lives, and are themselves transformed by contact with the wisdom of the West.Rita Gross considers "lifestyle" issues, from conception to death and grieving; social issues such as population control, work and family, and environmental ethics; and theological issues such as the use of goddess images in Buddhism, and several fascinating practices from Gross's own Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition.

Author Notes

Authors Bio, not available

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

When three very different elements come together in one life, it can make for very interesting reading, and so it is with feminist Buddhist theologian Gross's new work (after Feminism & Religion, LJ 9/15/96). Her opening autobiographical section explains how she became a feminist, a Buddhist, and a scholar. Uniting heart and head through involvement with a particular religious tradition renders her scholarship in religious history both controversial and intriguing. Gross discusses social issues ranging from environmental ethics to children's rights and religious issues from immanence and transcendence in women's religious experience to the feminine principle in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. Her courageous willingness to reveal how these issues affect her personally makes for powerful reading. A treat and a challenge, this book is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries as a very special contribution to the field.¬ĎDavid Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

These essays focus on Buddhist practice, feminism, and social change in contemporary America, as informed by the Tibetan tradition. While not comprehensive, the book is broad and far-reaching, as the essays engage the particular perspectives of the scholar/practitioner author. In the first autobiographical section, Gross explores her childhood as a Wisconsin farm girl, her growing interest in a feminist approach to life and work, her evolution as a Buddhist, and the often creative tension between Buddhist scholarship and practice. In the second section, on Buddhist engagement in social issues, the essays cover the importance of Buddhist thought and practice as resources for addressing contemporary issues, the benefits and drawbacks to structures of authority in Buddhist teaching relationships, sexual misconduct on the part of teachers and students, Buddhism and environmental ethics, Buddhist communities small and large, consumerism and economics, and family and children. Finally, Gross turns to issues in feminist theology particularly in a (Tibetan) Buddhist context, and discusses autobiography and the feminist method, nontheistic perspectives on women's religious experience and expression, Buddhist perspectives on the goddess, and the feminine principle in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. This thoughtful, thought-provoking, personal encounter with serious contemporary religious issues belongs on all undergraduate and graduate library shelves. Also recommended for general readers and practitioners. E. Findly; Trinity College (CT)