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The Buddha SideGender, Power, and Buddhist Practice in Vietnam$
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Alexander Soucy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835989

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835989.001.0001

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Interpretive Distinctions

Interpretive Distinctions

(p.159) 8 Interpretive Distinctions
The Buddha Side

Alexander Soucy

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the change in perspective towards Buddhist involvement by looking at the way that Buddhist rituals (and practice in general) are interpreted differently by men and women. Men tend to hold a more authoritative, doctrinal stance about the reasons for chanting sutras that places an emphasis on individualism. Men’s interpretation of the penitence ritual is aligned with a more doctrinal understanding of karma, claiming that participation is significant only in that it provides the opportunity for change through self-cultivation, whereas women see their religious practice as reverberating throughout their social relationships. They stress the assistance and blessings that the Buddha gives, and say that penitence can get rid of their sins through his grace and that their participation brings benefit to their whole family.

Keywords:   Buddhist rituals, men, doctrinal stance, individualism, women, social relationships, karma, penitence

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