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Passing the LightThe Incense Light Community and Buddhist Nuns in Contemporary Taiwan$
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Chün-fang Yü

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836580

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836580.001.0001

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Introduction Why Study Nuns?

Introduction Why Study Nuns?

(p.1) 1 Introduction Why Study Nuns?
Passing the Light

Chün-Fang Yü

University of Hawai'i Press

This book examines the spiritual lives of Buddhist nuns at the Incense Light community in contemporary Taiwan. Taiwanese nuns today are highly educated and greatly outnumber monks, characteristics unprecedented in the history of Chinese Buddhism. This book explores how and why a young woman becomes attracted to Buddhism and decides to become a nun; what kind of training she receives at a seminary once she joins the sangha; what kind of work she does upon graduation; and what sorts of problems and setbacks she experiences. By answering these questions, we can get a sense of the bigger picture of Buddhism in Taiwanese society. This introduction discusses the history of Buddhist nuns in China; the text The Lives of Nuns (Biqiuni zhuan), written by the monk Baochang, and its profiles of nuns; updates to The Lives of Nuns; and accounts of nuns in literature.

Keywords:   Buddhist nuns, Incense Light community, Taiwan, Taiwanese nuns, Chinese Buddhism, sangha, China, The Lives of Nuns, Baochang

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