Vietnamese Buddhist nun : traditional images and voices of change
Le Phuc, Kim
Master of Arts in Religious Studies
Locke, Kenneth A.
Long, J. Bruce
This paper is to introduce Vietnamese Buddhist nuns in the both images of tradition and change. Accepted the Eight Special Rules with all admiration, and to be influenced by the patriarchal society, the traditional images are the nuns who devoted themselves behind the monastic gates, in which they focus only on their spiritual goal. In contrast, the current images of Vietnamese Buddhist nuns have changed both in their thinking and practices. They are engaged nuns who focus both on monastic lives and secular beneficial activities. Indeed, by following the modern feminist theory, Vietnamese Buddhist nuns have reasonable motivation to discuss the issue of equality and inequality between monks and nuns. Beside, the existence of the Eight Special Rules, the practices that were applied for Buddhist nuns from the Buddha’s time, has become the central point of recent arguments. By examining conservative and avant-garde ideas on the images of Vietnamese Buddhist nuns, this paper points out that the images of Vietnamese Buddhist nuns are, though, still lower than those of Buddhist monks, their images are clearly recognized in some fields that were certainly considered the monk’s assignment.
University of the West