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Da Zhangfu: The Gendered Rhetoric of Heroism and Equality in Seventeenth-Century Chan Buddhist Discourse Records

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This article looks at some of the different ways in which the use of the term “da zhangfu” or “great gentleman” is exercised in the writings of seventeenth-century Buddhist monks and laymen in reference to religious women. These uses reflect a wide range of opinion on the question of whether or not women had the strength and determination to embark on the chan Buddhist path of spiritual training The attitudes expressed by these male writers range from undisguised disapproval to qualified skepticism to wholehearted support and admiration, regarded as a whole, they reflect the ongoing ambivalence towards religious women as well as the unquestionable changes in attitude, that marked the seventeenth-century.

Affiliations: 1: Washington University in St. Louis

10.1163/138768008X368200
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/content/journals/10.1163/138768008x368200
2008-11-01
2016-12-08

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