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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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Language, Orthodoxy, and Performances of Authority

Language, Orthodoxy, and Performances of Authority

(p.178) 9 Language, Orthodoxy, and Performances of Authority
The Buddha Side

Alexander Soucy

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter looks at how the practice of many male Buddhists is rooted in a concern for knowledge-based self-cultivation, a pursuit with thoroughly masculine connotations that resonate with Confucian ideals. It focuses on the performative aspects of masculine participation in the Buddhist field that are intended to gain greater status and authority. The male religious practice of study is intimately connected with the building of symbolic capital through performances of knowledge. These performances are made valid through the use of language, ritual expertise, and overall manner. This interpretation resonates with contemporary internationalized forms of Buddhism that increasingly gained currency through the twentieth century. These performances of knowledge include the production of religious texts and oratory about religious and cultural subjects.

Keywords:   male Buddhists, self-cultivation, Confucian ideals, knowledge, ritual expertise, internationalized Buddhism

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