Women in Tibet

Past and Present

Edited by Janet Gyatso and Hanna Havnevik

Columbia University Press

Women in Tibet

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Pub Date: February 2006

ISBN: 9780231130998

352 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00

Pub Date: February 2006

ISBN: 9780231130981

352 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00

Women in Tibet

Past and Present

Edited by Janet Gyatso and Hanna Havnevik

Columbia University Press

Filling a gap in the literature, this volume explores the struggles and accomplishments of women from both past and present-day Tibet. Here are queens from the imperial period, yoginis and religious teachers of medieval times, Buddhist nuns, oracles, political workers, medical doctors, and performing artists. Most of the essays focus on the lives of individual women, whether from textual sources or from anthropological data, and show that Tibetan women have apparently enjoyed more freedom than women in many other Asian countries. The book is innovative in resisting both romanticization and hypercriticism of women's status in Tibetan society, attending rather to historical description, and to the question of what is distinctive about women's situations in Tibet, and what is common to both men and women in Tibetan society.

Readers interested in gender roles in Tibetan Buddhism can learn much from these insights into the lives of Tibetan women.

American Reference Books Annual

This stimulating collection... uses Tibetan literary sources and ingeniously mined field research in today's Tibet Autonomous Region and beyond... Recommended.

Choice

A welcome addition to the fields of Tibetan Studies and Women's Studies.

Ellen Posman, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
Introduction
Part I: Women in Traditional Tibet
Ladies of the Tibetan Empire (Seventh to Ninth Centuries), by Helga Uebach
The Woman Illusion? Research into the Lives of Spiritually Accomplished Women Leaders of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, by Dan Martin
The Autobiography of a Medieval Hermitess: Orgyen Chokyi (1675-1729), by Kurtis R. Schaeffer
Part II: Modern Tibetan Women
Female Oracles in Modern Tibet, by Hildegard Diemberger
Outstanding Women in Tibetan Medicine, by Tashi Tsering
Women in the Performing Arts: Portraits of Six Singers, by Isabelle Henrion-Dourcy
The Body of a Nun: Nunhood and Gender in Contemporary Amdo, by Charlene E Makley
Women and Politics in Tibet Today, by Robert Barnett
Contributors
Appendix
Index

About the Author

Janet Gyatso is Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies at Harvard University, where she serves on the faculty of the Divinity School, in the Study of Religion, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and Inner Asian and Altaic Studies. Her writing has centered on Tibetan Buddhism and its cultural and intellectual history from the perspective of large issues in the humanities about human experience and its literary presentation. She is the author of Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary, as well as several edited volumes.