Passionate Enlightenment : Women in Tantric Buddhism
The crowning cultural achievement of medieval India, Tantric Buddhism is known in the West primarily for the sexual practices of its adherents, who strive to transform erotic passion into spiritual ecstasy. Historians of religion have long held that the enlightenment thus attempted was for men only, and that women in the movement were at best marginal and subordinated and at worst degraded and exploited. Miranda Shaw argues to the contrary, presenting extensive new evidence of the outspoken and independent female founders of the Tantric movement and their creative role in shaping its distinctive vision of gender relations and sacred sexuality.
- Paperback | 312 pages
- 152 x 235 x 16.76mm | 425g
- 08 Oct 1995
- Princeton University Press
- New Jersey, United States
- Revised ed.
- 18 line illustrations
Other books in this series
Table of contents
List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsGuide to TransliterationCh. 1Seeking the Traces of Sky-Dancers3Ch. 2Tantric Buddhism in India: Religious and Historical Introduction20Ch. 3Women in Tantric Theory: Powerful and Auspicious35Ch. 4Women in Tantric Circles: Adepts and Experts74Ch. 5Women in Tantric History: Founders and Pioneers101Ch. 6Women in Tantric Relationships: Intimacy as a Path to Enlightenment140Ch. 7Spontaneous Jewellike Yogini on Passion and Enlightenment179Ch. 8Conclusions195Notes207Bibliography265Index283
Winner of the 1994 James Henry Breasted Prize, American Historical Association Winner of the 1994 Tricycle Prize for Excellence in Buddhist Scholarship "This book is a welcome and wonderful addition to feminist scholarship on Buddhism, a rapidly growing endeavor... Miranda Shaw's discussion of passion and intimacy as a path of practice is exemplary in its demonstration that such practices can only be undertaken by equals who share the same vision, the same aspiration for enlightenment, and the same training and meditative skills."--Rita Gross, Shambhala Sun "A feminist critique of a male (and Western) view of the Tantric tradition [and also] a balanced reassessment of a tradition too long misunderstood."--James George, Parabola
About Miranda Shaw
Miranda Shaw is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Richmond.