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Eminent NunsWomen Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century China$
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Beata Grant

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832025

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832025.001.0001

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Images of Nuns in the Writings of Seventeenth-Century Monks

Images of Nuns in the Writings of Seventeenth-Century Monks

(p.17) Chapter Two Images of Nuns in the Writings of Seventeenth-Century Monks
Eminent Nuns

Beata Grant

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the descriptions and images of nuns found in the writings of seventeenth-century male monastics and Buddhist laymen. These representations reveal that nuns were far from constituting an invisible presence in Chan Buddhist circles during this period; rather, they traveled and studied with some of the most eminent of the male Chan masters of the time, received Dharma transmission, and often left collections of their recorded discourses as well as their poetry, letters, and other writings. However, even if they were able to escape the restrictions of traditional feminine rules and regulations, they were still not freed of the responsibility to serve as exemplary women. Indeed, some male Buddhist monks lamented the public nature of many of these women’s activities.

Keywords:   male monastics, Buddhist laymen, Buddhist nuns, Chan masters, Dharma transmission, Buddhist monks, feminine rules

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