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Miranda Shaw Listings

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1 Miranda Shaw
Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.; New Delhi, India; 2008; 8121508207 / 9788121508209; Reprint; Hard Cover; New; New; 
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 subordinate 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. Anyone who reads a Tantric text or enters a Tantric temple immediately encounters a pantheon of female Buddhas and a host of female enlighteners known as "dakinis," who dance and leap in joyous poses that communicate a sense of mastery and spiritual power. This striking female imagery is fully compatible with Shaw's findings. Drawing on interviews and archival research conducted during two years of fieldwork in India and Nepal, including more than forty previously unnoticed works by women of the Pala period (eighth through twelfth centuries CE), she substantially reinterprets the history of Tantric Buddhism during its first four centuries. In her view, the Tantric theory of this period promotes an ideal of cooperative, mutually liberative relationships between women and men while encouraging a sense of reliance on women as a source of spiritual insight and power. Printed Pages: 308 with 18 b/w illustrations. 028446

Price: 15.50 USD
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