Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pg. 99: Elise DeVido's "Taiwan's Buddhist Nuns"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Taiwan's Buddhist Nuns by Elise Anne DeVido.

About the book, from the publisher:
Explores the milieu of Taiwan’s Buddhist nuns, who have the greatest numbers in the Buddhist world and a prominent place in their own country.

Taiwan’s Buddhist nuns are as unique as they are noteworthy. Boasting the greatest number of Buddhist nuns of any country, Taiwan has a much larger number of nuns than monks. These women are well known and well regarded as dharma teachers and for the social service work that has made them a central part of Taiwan’s civil society. In this, the first English-language book exclusively devoted to the subject of Taiwanese women and Buddhism, Elise Anne DeVido introduces readers to Taiwan’s Buddhist nuns, but also looks at the larger question of how Taiwan’s Buddhism shapes and is shaped by women—mainly nuns but also laywomen, who, like their clerical sisters, flourish in that country. Providing a historical overview of Buddhist women in China and Taiwan, DeVido discusses various reasons for the vibrancy of Taiwan’s nuns’ orders. She introduces us to the nuns of the Buddhist Compassion–Relief Foundation (Ciji), as well as those of the Luminary Buddhist Institute. Discussing “Buddhism for the Human Realm,” DeVido asks whether this popular philosophy has encouraged and supported the singular strength of Taiwan’s Buddhist women.
Read an excerpt from Taiwan's Buddhist Nuns, and learn more about the book at the publisher's website.

Elise Anne DeVido is Assistant Professor of History at St. Bonaventure University.

The Page 99 Test: Taiwan's Buddhist Nuns.

--Marshal Zeringue