Cover image for Buddhist women across cultures : realizations
Buddhist women across cultures : realizations
Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Bhikṣuṇī, 1944-
Publication Information:
Albany, N.Y. : State University of New York Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 326 pages ; 24 cm.
Mahāprajāpatī's legacy : the Buddhist women's movement : an introduction / Karma Lekshe Tsomo -- The female in Buddhism / Elizabeth J. Harris -- Buddhist women in India and precolonial Sri Lanka / Lorna Dewaraja -- Restoring the order of nuns to the Theravādin tradition / Senarat Wijayasundara -- The red cord untied : Buddhist nuns in eighteenth-century China / Beata Grant -- Japanese Buddhist nuns : innovators for the sake of tradition / Paula K.R. Arai -- Can women achieve enlightenment? : A critique of sexual transformation for enlightenment / Hae-ju Sunim (Ho-Ryeon Jeon) -- Tibetan Buddhist women practitioners, past and present : a garland to delight those wishing inspiration / Janice D. Willis -- Pregnancy and childbirth in Tibetan culture / Sarah Pinto -- Change in consciousness : women's religious identity in Himalayan Buddhist cultures / Karma Lekshe Tsomo -- Conception and the entry of consciousness : when does a life begin? / Cait Collins -- East, West, women, and self / Anne C. Klein -- Appropriate treasure? : Reflections on women, Buddhism, and cross-cultural exchange / Sara Shneiderman -- Comparing Buddhist and Christian women's experiences / Karma Lekshe Tsomo -- Aung San Suu Kyi : a woman of conscience in Burma / Theja Gunawardhana -- A model for laywomen in Buddhism : the Western Buddhist Order / Dharmacharini Sanghadevi -- Feminism, lay Buddhism, and the future of Buddhism / Rita M. Gross -- Epilogue / Karma Lekshe Tsomo.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BQ4570.W6 K34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Illuminates the lives and thought of women in Buddhist cultures, integrating them more fully into the feminist conversation.

Author Notes

Karma Lekshe Tsomo is Instructor of Buddhism at Chaminade University and Degree Fellow at the East-West Center. She has written several books including Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women, also published by SUNY Press, and most recently, Living and Dying in Buddhist Cultures (with David W. Chappell).

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Each of the essays in Tsomo's highly readable anthology of the diverse history of women in Buddhism asks the question: "In what ways is Buddhism a constraint for women and in what ways is it liberative?" The women writers of these essays reclaim early Buddhist stories about women as foundational to the liberating power of Buddhism. They also recover for our notice the story of Mahaprajapati, who walked several hundred miles to implore Sakyamuni Buddha for an "order of women mendicants." On the basis of her work, the Buddha agreed that the spiritual potential of women and men is equal, and he recognized the right of women to wear the garb of a mendicant. Each of these essays traces the history of women in Buddhism in a particular culture. For example, Lorna Dewaraja examines "Buddhist Women in India and Precolonial Sri Lanka" while Paula K.R. Arai explores "Japanese Buddhist Nuns: Innovators for the Sake of Tradition." Other essays investigate the roles and status of women in Buddhism as it evolved in Korea, China and Tibet. The authors point out that the recognition of women by their predominantly Buddhist culture depends drastically upon the particular culture. As these essays demonstrate, Buddhist women are continuing to gain new respect for their religious practice in calling societies to change their attitudes about the role of women in religion. Tsomo's book is a powerful and richly diverse collection of women's voices, narrating the dynamic experience of women confronting the constraints and liberties of practicing Buddhism in their native lands. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Since 1987, Buddhists from around the world have met recurrently under the auspices of Sakyadhita, the International Association of Buddhist Women, at least partly to ascertain "in what ways is Buddhism a constraint for women and in what ways is it liberative?" In 16 essays treating "Buddhist Women in Asian Traditions," "Contemporary Buddhist Women," and "Shaping New Traditions," 15 authors develop themes first explored in those conferences. One of the organizers, Bhiksuni (i.e., Buddhist nun) Tsomo, author of Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women (SUNY, 1996), has edited a collection that advances the ongoing multicultural conversation while suffering somewhat from tedious repetition. Suitable for research collections emphasizing Buddhism or comparative women's studies.ÄJames R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.