In this highly original study of sexuality, desire, the body, and women,
Liz Wilson investigates first-millennium Buddhist notions of
spirituality. She argues that despite the marginal role women played in
monastic life, they occupied a very conspicuous place in Buddhist
hagiographic literature. In narratives used for the edification of
Buddhist monks, women's bodies in decay (diseased, dying, and after
death) served as a central object for meditation, inspiring spiritual
growth through sexual abstention and repulsion in the immediate world.
Taking up a set of universal concerns connected with the representation
of women, Wilson displays the pervasiveness of androcentrism in Buddhist
literature and practice. She also makes persuasive use of recent
historical work on the religious lives of women in medieval
Christianity, finding common ground in the role of miraculous
This lively and readable study brings provocative new tools and insights
to the study of women in religious life.
The stories of Indonesian women have often been told by Indonesian men and Dutch men and women. This volume asks how these representations—reproduced, transformed, and circulated in history, ethnography, and literature—have circumscribed feminine behavior in colonial and postcolonial Indonesia. Presenting dialogues between prominent scholars of and from Indonesia and Indonesian women working in professional, activist, religious, and literary domains, the book dissolves essentialist notions of “women” and “Indonesia” that have arisen out of the tensions of empire. The contributors examine the ways in which Indonesian women and men are enmeshed in networks of power and then pursue the stories of those who, sometimes at great political risk, challenge these powers. In this juxtaposition of voices and stories, we see how indigenous patriarchal fantasies of feminine behavior merged with Dutch colonial notions of proper wives and mothers to produce the Indonesian government’s present approach to controlling the images and actions of women. Facing the theoretical challenge of building a truly cross-cultural feminist analysis, Fantasizing the Feminine takes us into an ongoing conversation that reveals the contradictions of postcolonial positionings and the fragility of postmodern identities. This book will be welcomed by readers with interests in contemporary Indonesian politics and society as well as historians, anthropologists, and other scholars concerned with literature, gender, and cultural studies.
Contributors. Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, Sita Aripurnami, Jane Monnig Atkinson, Nancy K. Florida, Daniel S. Lev, Dédé Oetomo, Laurie J. Sears, Ann Laura Stoler, Saraswati Sunindyo, Julia I. Suryakusuma, Jean Gelman Taylor, Sylvia Tiwon, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Diane L. Wolf
The Feminine in Jungian Psychology and in Christian Theology investigates the implications for Christian theology of Jung's special insights into the feminine. In it, Ann Belford Ulanov gathers together in one volume what Jung and Jungians have discovered about the feminine in order to explore what Jungian thought and methods may illuminate about the place of the feminine in Christian theology.
Jung focuses on the human person and sees as central its mixture of masculine and feminine elements. In a time when so much is asserted and written about women in society—their rights, roles, identities, needs, and contributions—it is especially significant that Jung asserts the existence of the feminine as a key element, not only in women but in men as well. No less contested are the roles and identities of Christians. Ulanov brings into focus the deep and fascinating connections between theology and psychology.
While most gender-based analyses of rabbinic Judaism concentrate on the status of women in the halakhah (the rabbinic legal tradition), Judith R. Baskin turns her attention to the construction of women in the aggadic midrash, a collection of expansions of the biblical text, rabbinic ruminations, and homiletical discourses that constitutes the non-legal component of rabbinic literature. Examining rabbinic convictions of female alterity, competing narratives of creation, and justifications of female disadvantages, as well as aggadic understandings of the ideal wife, the dilemma of infertility, and women among women and as individuals, she shows that rabbinic Judaism, a tradition formed by men for a male community, deeply valued the essential contributions of wives and mothers while also consciously constructing women as other and lesser than men. Recent feminist scholarship has illuminated many aspects of the significance of gender in biblical and halakhic texts but there has been little previous study of how aggadic literature portrays females and the feminine. Such representations, Baskin argues, often offer a more nuanced and complex view of women and their actual lives than the rigorous proscriptions of legal discourse.
Minority Rules is an ethnography of a Chinese people known as the Miao, a group long consigned to the remote highlands and considered backward by other Chinese. Now the nation’s fifth largest minority, the Miao number nearly eight million people speaking various dialects and spread out over seven provinces. In a theoretically innovative work that combines methods from both anthropology and cultural studies, Louisa Schein examines the ways Miao ethnicity is constructed and reworked by the state, by non-state elites, and by the Miao themselves, all in the context of China’s postsocialist reforms and its increasing exchange and fascination with the West. She offers eloquently argued interventions into debates over nationalism, ethnic subjectivity, and the ethnography of the state. Posing questions about gender, cultural politics, and identity, Schein examines how non-Miao people help to create Miao ethnicity by depicting them as both feminized keepers of Chinese tradition and as exotic others against which dominant groups can assert their own modernity. In representing and consuming aspects of their own culture, Miao distance themselves from the idea that they are less than modern. Thus, Schein explains, everyday practices, village rituals, journalistic encounters, and tourism events are not just moments of cultural production but also performances of modernity through which others are made primitive. Schein finds that these moments frequently highlight internal differences among the Miao and demonstrates how not only minorities but more generally peasants and women offer a valuable key to understanding China as it renegotiates its place in the global order.
Here is a celebration and an analysis of four Québécois feminist rebels whose self-conscious revolt against language has put them at the forefront of experimental writing in Quebec. These women—Nicole Brossard, Madeleine Gagnon, Louky Bersianik, and France Theoret—are attempting to explode male-dominated language and to construct a new language and literature of women.
In this first major study of their work in English, Karen Gould examines in depth these women’s literary visions and the new ways in which they communicate those visions. Gould broadens her book’s appeal by showing how these four women’s works, in modern forms of experimental literature, are shaped not only by Quebec feminism, politics, and culture but by American and French influences as well.