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Buddhist Nuns and Gendered PracticeIn Search of the Female Renunciant$
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Nirmala S. Salgado

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199760022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199760022.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Buddhist Nuns and Gendered Practice

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Buddhist Nuns and Gendered Practice
Author(s):

Nirmala S. Salgado

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199760022.003.0001

The idea of globalatinization, introduced by Derrida and developed by Arvind-Pal Mandair, helps in assessing the adequacy of concepts, paradigms, and language hitherto used to translate the lives of Buddhist nuns. The introduction argues that the moral practices (sīla) of nuns cannot be articulated in terms of liberal notions of empowerment, agency, and autonomy, and it raises questions about the meaning of gender, renunciant identity, and “status” in scholarly narratives about nuns. By invoking Gayatri C. Spivak’s ideas about the inaccessibility of subaltern speech and proposing that female renunciants see themselves as being beyond gender, the introduction suggests that feminist frameworks for interpreting nuns’ lives are misplaced. It presents the three themes of the book--narrative, identity, and empowerment--and summarizes the central arguments of the chapters.

Keywords:   globalatinization, empowerment, gender, autonomy, agency, nun, narrative, sīla, moral practices

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