Episode 18. Mother, Daughter, Sex Worker, Nun: Transgressing and Transforming Gender Roles in Buddhist Narratives with Damchö Diana Finnegan PhD
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Among the Buddha’s most prominent female disciples were sex workers, mothers, and the nuns who formed the female monastic order. Narratives of the lives of these earliest Buddhist women show them struggling to emerge, with varying degrees of success and failure, from the places in which a patriarchal society kept them.

This talk explores ways in which the limitations placed on women in early Buddhist communities were challenged or transgressed, and ways in which they were ultimately reinforced. We will ask what these narratives can teach today’s Buddhist communities as we seek to identify and liberate ourselves from our own notions of gender that restrict women’s spiritual potential.

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