State University of New York Press

SUNY series, Feminist Philosophy

Jeffner Allen

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series, Feminist Philosophy

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Buddhist Women and Social Justice

Ideals, Challenges, and Achievements

This book on engaged Buddhism focuses on women working for social justice in a wide range of Buddhist traditions and societies. Contributors document attempts to actualize Buddhism’s liberating ideals of personal growth and social transformation. Dealing with issues such as human rights, gender-based violence, prostitution, and the role of Buddhist nuns, the work illuminates the possibilities for positive change that are available to those with limited power and resources. Integrating social realities and theoretical perspectives, the work utilizes feminist interpretations of Buddhist values and looks at culturally appropriate means of instigating change.

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Family Matters

Feminist Concepts in African Philosophy of Culture

Prior to European colonialism, Igboland, a region in Nigeria, was a nonpatriarchal, nongendered society governed by separate but interdependent political systems for men and women. In the last one hundred fifty years, the Igbo family has undergone vast structural changes in response to a barrage of cultural forces. Critically rereading social practices and oral and written histories of Igbo women and the society, Nkiru Uwechia Nzegwu demonstrates how colonial laws, edicts, and judicial institutions facilitated the creation of gender inequality in Igbo society. Nzegwu exposes the unlikely convergence of Western feminist and African male judges’ assumptions about “traditional” African values where women are subordinate and oppressed. Instead she offers a conception of equality based on historical Igbo family structures and practices that challenges the epistemological and ontological bases of Western feminist inquiry.

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