Female identity and emptiness. A reconstruction of the history of ideas in the Buddhist women´s movement Sakyadhita International
This movement - lit. ´daughters of the Buddha´ - first met in 1987 in Bodh Gaya, India. Mohr opines that this Buddhist network is a forum for developing both secular and sacral ´self-contemplation´. She analyzes ´female identity´ in relation to secular self-contemplation and sacral self-contemplation. She then describes the history of ideas and development of western female ´secular´ identity, and the same for ´eastern´ (Buddhist) female ´sacral´ identity - including the roles in these respective cultural fields. She goes into Buddhist philosophy (in different schools, such as Theravada and Mahayana, and specifically Tantrayana), and traces western feminism in exemplary women such as Hildegard von Bingen and Christine de Pizan. She traces western female identity in different fields of knowledge, schools of thought and tradition (such as Romanticism, philosophical phenomenology, Marxism, hermeneutics, existentialism, postmodernism, postcolonialism...). After describing roles for women in Buddhism (mothers, courtesans, nuns...) based on textual evidence she finally deals with the Sakyadhita network and the conferences in detail, especially its aim and work to integrate both aspects (secular and sacral) for female identity and action.
Keywords: Sakyadhita International, Buddhist female network, women in Buddhism, emptiness, sunyata, Bingen, H. v., Pizan, C. de, female identity, identity of women, secular identity, sacral identity, feminism