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Ties That BindMaternal Imagery and Discourse in Indian Buddhism$
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Reiko Ohnuma

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199915651

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199915651.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
Ties That Bind

Reiko Ohnuma

Oxford University Press

The Introduction refutes the idea that premodern Indian Buddhism was a “mother-rejecting” tradition and argues that, in fact, it had a complex and ambivalent relationship with mothers and motherhood. It clarifies that this book explores maternal imagery and discourse in Indian Buddhism, drawing primarily on textual sources preserved in Pali and Sanskrit. It focuses not on motherhood as a divine principle or universal archetype, but on human motherhood as a symbol, image, trope, or discourse. It limits itself to the Mainstream and Mahāyāna traditions, and leaves Tantric or Vajrayāna Buddhism aside.

Keywords:   Indian Buddhism, motherhood, maternal imagery

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