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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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Subjects of Renunciation

Subjects of Renunciation

Chapter:
(p.123) 5 Subjects of Renunciation
Source:
Buddhist Nuns and Gendered Practice
Author(s):

Nirmala S. Salgado

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199760022.003.0006

This chapter argues that the subject of the Sri Lankan Buddhist nun has been shaped by discourses about “third-world” development and constructed by researchers, state officials, and academics. It suggests that understanding how Sri Lankan nuns are represented in terms of their construction as subjects of renunciation helps in assessing the limitations of ideas such as collective activism, resistance, and protest in reading the lives of nuns and their acceptance of the higher ordination. Considering the multiple debates on Buddhist nuns that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s in Sri Lanka, and using works by Arturo Escobar, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and select social-movement theorists, this chapter also questions the idea that Sri Lankan nuns are resistant subjects in a religious “movement” vying for the higher ordination.

Keywords:   Sri Lanka, third-world, development, movement, resistant, higher ordination, subject, nun, renunciation

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