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Portraits of Buddhist Women (review)

Portraits of Buddhist Women (review) BOOK REV IEWS PORTRAITS OF BUDDHIST WOMEN. By Ranjini Obeyesekere. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001. 231 pp. This book is a translation of part of the Saddharmaratnavaliya (Jewel Garland of the True Doctrine; hereafter SR), a thirteenth-century Sinhala translation of the Dhammapada (hereafter DA), a fifth-century Buddhist text. Out of the entire collection of 360 stories contained in the SR, this book includes twenty-six that have women as central characters. The author succeeds in part with her stated purpose to "illuminate the position of women in the early-medieval Buddhist worlds of India and Sri Lanka" as well as to "provide insights into shifting stances over time on issues of sexuality and gender" (p. 1), despite the lack of any necessary correlation between gender images and the actual status of women in a particular social location. As Obeyesekere points out, although the stories themselves are not focused on gender, their contexts in the "everyday world" of their fifth- and thirteenth-century authors do shed light on women's lives and social status. The stories she has selected for the volume portray women in a wide range of roles, including not only the ideal normative ones of wives and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Portraits of Buddhist Women (review)

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 24 (1) – Jan 10, 2004

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
Publisher site
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Abstract

BOOK REV IEWS PORTRAITS OF BUDDHIST WOMEN. By Ranjini Obeyesekere. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001. 231 pp. This book is a translation of part of the Saddharmaratnavaliya (Jewel Garland of the True Doctrine; hereafter SR), a thirteenth-century Sinhala translation of the Dhammapada (hereafter DA), a fifth-century Buddhist text. Out of the entire collection of 360 stories contained in the SR, this book includes twenty-six that have women as central characters. The author succeeds in part with her stated purpose to "illuminate the position of women in the early-medieval Buddhist worlds of India and Sri Lanka" as well as to "provide insights into shifting stances over time on issues of sexuality and gender" (p. 1), despite the lack of any necessary correlation between gender images and the actual status of women in a particular social location. As Obeyesekere points out, although the stories themselves are not focused on gender, their contexts in the "everyday world" of their fifth- and thirteenth-century authors do shed light on women's lives and social status. The stories she has selected for the volume portray women in a wide range of roles, including not only the ideal normative ones of wives and

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 10, 2004

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