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Buddhism in Mongolian History, Culture, and Society$
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Vesna A. Wallace

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199958641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199958641.001.0001

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Transition and Transformation: Buddhist Women of Buryatia

Transition and Transformation: Buddhist Women of Buryatia

(p.261) 14 Transition and Transformation: Buddhist Women of Buryatia
Buddhism in Mongolian History, Culture, and Society

Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Oxford University Press

The disbanding of the Soviet Union in 1990 opened the door for the revival of Buddhism throughout the Buddhist republics of Buryatia, Kalmykia, and Tuva. The attempt to restore a religious tradition that had been devastated by the loss of teachers, texts, and monasteries was a daunting challenge. The chapter reevaluates the roles of women in Buddhist practices and institutions in the revitalization of Buddhism in Buryatia. With widespread secondary education, many women no longer see themselves as passive devotees but wish to participate fully in Buddhist learning and rituals. Women are also active in restoring and maintaining Buddhist images in their homes. The chapter describes Zuungon Darzhaling, a temple for women established in Ulan Ude in 1993. It explores the motivation and expectations that led a small group of devotees to initiate the first practice-oriented center for women in Buryatia.

Keywords:   Buryatia, Siberia, Ulan Ude, Orthodox Christianity, Shamanism, monasticism, women, dugans, datsans, ritual practices

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