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Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This book surveys both the part women have played in Buddhism historically and what Buddhism might become in its post-patriarchal future. The author completes the Buddhist historical record by discussing women, usually absent from histories of Buddhism, and she provides the first feminist analysis of the major concepts found in Buddhist religion. Gross demonstrates that th ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published November 17th 1992 by State University of New York Press (first published November 1st 1992)
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230417: excellent work unifying, contrasting, mutually aiding, feminism and buddhism, in practice, in thought, in this very real world of patriarchal dominions. i notice this book is older than any of the young women who serve me at this coffeehouse, none of whom will allow claims of being feminists. perhaps they rather claim to be post- but this is just indication of how that term now characterizes more 'militant' attitudes. this is an error in thought. this book is written from a modern, weste ...more
Jessica Zu
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is certainly the most inspiring book I had ever read. At first, I was a little on guard knowing that Prof. Gross is practicing Tibetan Buddhism, a tradition full of deities and other worldly creatures. At the end of this book, she said, relationships with human beings are enough, others could be simply dispensable bonus, not essential to liberation (maybe I should call it deep peace 'cause liberation sounds like running away from here to somewhere else). The goal of spiritual practice is to ...more
Paul Brooks
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book Summary:
Aversion creates anger
Blame is one of 8 worldly concerns
Patriarchy empowers aggressive women and men.
Matriarchy empowers all women and men.

Many people look at Dharma as a broad generalization about Buddhist culture. People forget to distinguish between culture as a sociopolitical construct of mind, and Dharma as an immutable teaching on the very nature of that mind. That mind that creates the socio-cultural delusions of Buddhism as an institution, and of gender. Rita Gross doe
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, while the author offers many worthy arguments against old, traditional practices of Buddhism institutions when it comes to women’s rights and abilities, and fascinating histories, she remains totally stuck in her own bias favoring strict gender differentiation and separation—what she fails to comprehend is that these are also oppressive gender roles! It’s really a shame that she insists that women and men are so totally distinct and that it’s not actually possible to get beyond tr ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I liked this book, the last chapter or two were of little interest and I confess to having skimmed them
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outrageous and wonderful! Her ideas are so carefully thought out and communicated clearly.
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A must read for any woman considering the Buddhist path. Written by a practicing Buddhist and Professor of religion, it combines spiritual reflection with feminist, academic analysis. Gross acknowledges the ways in which Buddhism is problematic for feminists, while reconstructing a Buddhism that can be practiced with clear conscious.
Sara Gray
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a great and clear exploration of feminist issues within Buddhist philosophy and society throughout history, and I'm certain I'll come back to it for new ideas and approaches to my practice. Gross did a cogent job of pointing out the sexist aspects of Buddhism without throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it came to the valuable, pro-feminist aspects of it.
Caitlin Trepp
Sep 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Great ideas organized unforgivably poorly; the lecture she gave at my school was so amazing though I think her next book will be awesome...!
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book in it own right and the method of analysis can be applied to other religions like Quakerism. A bit too academic.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful discussion of the role women have had in Buddhism. Much to consider.
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