Here’s an interesting article about women in the development of the sangha in China in times gone by…featuring a Canadian Buddhist scholar.
Rediscovering the Women of Northern Wei with Stephanie Balkwill
Here’s the bio on Stephanie Balkwill and the context of the story:
The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies are a series of grants awarded to some of the most intriguing studies undertaken by research students about our Buddhist heritage. One recipient, Stephanie Lynn Balkwill, is preparing her thesis on nuns and empresses in the Northern Wei, a subject that has not fit neatly into the common perception of Chinese history as predominantly Confucian, male, and Han. Originally from Regina, Canada, Ms. Balkwill’s graduate studies were supervised by Dr. James Benn in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University, where she studied Buddhism and East Asian religion and culture from a historical and textual perspective. His careful and kind supervision allowed her to read Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit texts at the PhD level. At McMaster, she also took a PhD Diploma program in Gender Studies and Feminist Research, which is becoming an increasingly fruitful academic pathway for scholars of religion.
As for the story itself, well you’ll just have to read it on the Buddhist Door’s recently re-designed blog website!
Thanks to Sư Cô Tinh Quang, bhikshuni at Little Heron Hermitage in Hamilton, for bringing this to my attention.
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