Buddhist feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious, legal, and social status of women within Buddhism. It is an aspect of feminist theology which seeks to advance and understand the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership from a Buddhist perspective. The Buddhist feminist Rita Gross describes Buddhist feminism as "the radical practice of the co-humanity of women and men."
Parallels between Buddhism and Feminist understanding of equality between race, gender, class, sexuality and nationality have only recently begun to be explored. Buddhism's belief of understanding the truth of reality through practicing spiritual development. is beneficial to feminist theory, especially in comparison to other religions. These parallels are undergoing evaluation as religious understandings of feminism become increasingly scrutinized in society and popular discourse.
Some Buddhist feminists advocate for the ordination of women in Buddhism. The ordination of women in Buddhism is and has always been practiced in some Buddhist regions, such as East Asia, is being revived in some countries such as Sri Lanka, and is newly beginning in some Western countries to which Buddhism has recently spread, such as the United States.
Jean Byrne argues that within this beginning of Buddhist Feminist understanding an ignorance of the reality of female and male roles may exist. Within her paper "Why I Am Not a Buddhist Feminist" she outlines the similarities shared between the two, and the possible increase in equality of genders, but highlights that because of this some misogynist and discriminatory aspects of Buddhism may be overlooked. The belief that Buddhism is a completely egalitarian religion concerns Byrne that this will overshadow some of the realities of Feminism in Buddhism.
Christian libertarianism is the synthesis of Christian beliefs concerning free will, human nature, and God-given inalienable rights with libertarian political philosophy.
As with other libertarians, what is prohibited by law is limited to various forms of assault, theft, and fraud. Other actions that are forbidden by Christianity can only be disciplined by the church, or in the case of children and teens, one's parents or guardian. Likewise, beliefs such as "love your neighbor as yourself" are not imposed on others.Christofascism
Christofascism is a combination of Christian and fascism coined by Dorothee Sölle in 1970. Sölle, a liberation theology proponent, used the term to describe the Christian church which she characterized as totalitarian and imperialistic.Clericalism
Clericalism is the application of the formal, church-based, leadership or opinion of ordained clergy in matters of either the church or broader political and sociocultural import.Engaged Spirituality
Engaged spirituality refers to religious or spiritual people who actively engage in the world in order to transform it in positive ways while finding nurturance, inspiration and guidance in their spiritual beliefs and practices. The term was inspired by engaged Buddhism, a concept and set of values developed by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Engaged spirituality encompasses people committed to social change from all the major faith traditions as well as people who refer to themselves as "spiritual but not religious". It has numerous iterations in practice yet common themes unite the many forms it takes. For some in the Catholic tradition, liberation theology guides their form of engaged spirituality.Feminist theology
Feminist theology is a movement found in several religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining women's place in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts and matriarchal religion.Halachic state
Halachic state (Hebrew: מדינת הלכה, Medinat ha-Halakha) is the idea of a Jewish state governed by Halakha, Jewish religious law.Islamic monarchy
Islamic monarchies are a type of Islamic state which are monarchies. Historically known by various names, such as Mamlakah ("Kingdom"), Caliphate, Sultanate, or Emirate, current Islamic monarchies include:
Kingdom of Morocco
Kingdom of Bahrain
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sultanate of Oman
Monarchies of Malaysia
Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace
State of Kuwait
State of Qatar
United Arab EmiratesNichirenism
Nichirenism (日蓮主義, Nichirenshugi) is the nationalistic interpretation of the teachings of Nichiren. The most well known representatives of this form of Nichiren Buddhism are Nissho Inoue and Tanaka Chigaku, who construed Nichiren's teachings according to the notion of Kokutai. It was especially Chigaku who “made innovative use of print media to disseminate his message” and is therefore regarded to have influenced Nichiren based Japanese new religions in terms of methods of propagation.Political science of religion
The political science of religion (also referred to as politicology of religion or politology of religion) is one of the youngest disciplines in the political sciences that deals with a study of influence that religion has on politics and vice versa with a focus on the relationship between the subjects (actors) in politics in the narrow sense: government, political parties, pressure groups, and religious communities. It was established in the last decades of the twentieth century.Reclaiming (Neopaganism)
Reclaiming is a modern witchcraft tradition, aiming to combine the Goddess movement with feminism and political activism (in the peace and anti-nuclear movements). Reclaiming was founded in 1979, in the context of the Reclaiming Collective (1978–1997), by two Neopagan women of Jewish descent, Starhawk and Diane Baker, in order to explore and develop feminist Neopagan emancipatory rituals.Today, the organization focuses on progressive social, political, environmental and economic activism. Guided by a shared, "Principles of Unity, a document that lists the core values of the tradition: personal authority, inclusivity, social and environmental justice and a recognition of intersectionality".Religious anti-Zionism
While anti-Zionism usually utilizes ethnic and political arguments against the existence or policies of the state of Israel, anti-Zionism has also been expressed within religious contexts which have, at times, colluded and collided with the ethnopolitical arguments over Israel's legitimacy. Outside of the liberal and socialist fields of anti-Zionist currents, the religious (and often ethnoreligious) arguments tend to predominate as the driving ideological power within the incumbent movements and organizations, and usually target the Israeli state's relationship with Judaism.Religious police
Religious police is the police force responsible for the enforcement of religious norms and associated religious laws.
While most police enforcing religious norms in the modern world are Islamic and found in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran, some are not (for example in Vietnam, the religious security police monitor “extremist” religious groups, detaining and interrogating suspected Dega Protestants or Ha Mon Catholics).Religious socialism
Religious socialism is any form of socialism based on religious values. Members of several major religions have found that their beliefs about human society fit with socialist principles and ideas. As a result, religious socialist movements have developed within these religions. Such movements include:
Jewish socialismRevisionist Maximalism
Revisionist Maximalism was a short-lived movement and Jewish fascist ideology which was part of the Brit HaBirionim faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM) created by Abba Ahimeir.Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women
Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women is an 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1987 at the conclusion of its first conference and registered in California in the United States in 1988. Sakyadhita holds an international conference every two years, bringing together laypeople, nuns, and monks from different countries and traditions around the world.Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism
Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism is a political ideology which combines a focus upon Sinhalese culture and ethnicity with an emphasis upon Theravada Buddhism, which is the majority belief system of most of the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. It mostly originated in reaction to the colonisation of Sri Lanka by the British Empire and became increasingly assertive in the years following the independence of the country.Theonomy
Theonomy, from theos (god) and nomos (law), is a hypothetical Christian form of government in which society is ruled by divine law. Theonomists hold that divine law, including the judicial laws of the Old Testament, should be observed by modern societies.Theonomy is distinct from the "theonomous ethics" proposed by Paul Tillich.Women in Buddhism
Women in Buddhism is a topic that can be approached from varied perspectives including those of theology, history, anthropology and feminism. Topical interests include the theological status of women, the treatment of women in Buddhist societies at home and in public, the history of women in Buddhism, and a comparison of the experiences of women across different forms of Buddhism. As in other religions, the experiences of Buddhist women have varied considerably.
Scholars such as Bernard Faure and Miranda Shaw are in agreement that Buddhist studies is in its infancy in terms of addressing gender issues. Shaw gave an overview of the situation in 1994:
In the case of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism some progress has been made in the areas of women in early Buddhism, monasticism and Mahayana Buddhism. Two articles have seriously broached the subject of women in Indian tantric Buddhism, while somewhat more attention has been paid to Tibetan nuns and lay yoginis.
However Khandro Rinpoche, a female lama in Tibetan Buddhism, downplays the significance of growing attention to the topic:
When there is a talk about women and Buddhism, I have noticed that people often regard the topic as something new and different. They believe that women in Buddhism has become an important topic because we live in modern times and so many women are practicing the Dharma now. However, this is not the case. The female sangha has been here for centuries. We are not bringing something new into a 2,500-year-old tradition. The roots are there, and we are simply re-energizing them.
As a present evaluation of women (and equality) in Buddhism, Masatoshi Ueki gave a diachronic textual interpretation of Buddhist texts from Early Buddhism to the Lotus Sutra. Ueki examined the terms 'male' and 'female' as based not solely on the physical characteristics of each sex biologically but also on their functional roles within society, calling them the 'male principle' and 'female principle,' and concluded that no difference is preached in the Shakyamuni's teachings regarding the enlightenment of woman.
The establishment of the male principle in equal measure with the female principle is the natural order of things. They should never exist in a mutually exclusive relationship. They should not be an emphasis on one at the expense of the other, for both are indispensable. ... will the establishment of the true self be a fact of reality for both men and women.World Agudath Israel
World Agudath Israel (Hebrew: אגודת ישראל), usually known as the Aguda, was established in the early twentieth century as the political arm of Ashkenazi Torah Judaism. It succeeded Agudas Shlumei Emunei Yisroel (Union of Faithful Jewry) in 1912. Its base of support was located in Eastern Europe before the Second World War but, due to the revival of the Hasidic movement, it included Orthodox Jews throughout Europe.