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Family Matters in Indian Buddhist Monasticisms$
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Shayne Clarke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836474

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836474.001.0001

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Reconsidering Renunciation

Reconsidering Renunciation

Family-Friendly Monasticisms

(p.150) Chapter Five Reconsidering Renunciation
Family Matters in Indian Buddhist Monasticisms

Shayne Clarke

University of Hawai'i Press

This book has explored the familial and marital relationships of Buddhist monks and nuns in India, thus highlighting a scholarly misperception in the study of Indian Buddhism: that world renunciation means severing all ties with kith and kin. Drawing on early epigraphical evidence, it has shown that Indian Buddhist monks and nuns who had left home for the religious life continued to be identified with their family members; monks also continued to interact and associate with their former wives. Finally, the book has shown that the authors/redactors of the vinayas seem to have negotiated a place within their religious institutions for monastic mothers. This concluding chapter examines issues surrounding family matters both presupposed and legislated by the authors/redactors of the extant monastic law codes and argues that family-friendly forms of monasticism may have been more common in India than previously assumed. It also discusses the ramifications of the book's findings for how we study Buddhist monastic life in comparative light, along with the utility of vinaya texts for the study of Indian Buddhist monasticisms.

Keywords:   renunciation, Buddhist monks, Buddhist nuns, Buddhism, family, vinaya, monastic mothers, monastic law codes, monastic life, monasticisms

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