Early Buddhism Summary

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After reading this article, “Attitudes toward Women and the Feminine in Early Buddhism” by Alan Sponberg, I understand that the attitude toward women in the early Buddhism was deeply ambivalent. The Buddha himself belief that women are able to attain enlightenment, become an arhats, and liberated from the suffering. However, the Buddha was worried that bringing women in to the monastic order and ordaining them as a nun could hasten the decline of his teaching. This due to the fact that all of the monks are male and the female just a follower, who are not allow to ordain and stay with the monk. According to Sponberg, he said that there were four attitudes toward women in the early Buddhism. The first attitude is soteriological inclusiveness, this show that gender is not a factor important in attaining enlightenment in Buddhism. Any one and any sentient being can attain enlightenment. The second attitude is institutional…show more content…
These rules were created to govern the nuns and ordering them to pay respect and obey the monks. “By accepting the authority of the monks, at least nominally, the nuns did gain a more acceptable place in the eyes of the broader society” (Sponberg, 1992, p.25) This show that nuns and women are include in Buddhism. They are able to practice the religion and homage the Buddha. However, If we step back and look that this more broadly, we will still notice that inequality between male and female still occur in Buddhism. I think there is not a way to improve the women status in Buddhist monastic order, because Buddhism has a long tradition and history. They always follow and practice accordingly to the ritual and believe of the people in the past. The only possible way to improve women’s status would be a profound change toward women role and power in the cultural and tradition of the people who practice
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