Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Lisa Grumbach.

An exploration of the roles of ordained women within the social and familial structures of medieval Japan. Focusing on the reasons women became nuns, their age at ordination, and the work they performed as nuns, Prof. Grumbach argues that women used ordination as a way to build and maintain homes rather than as a way to “leave home.” Autobiographical writings by women, historical and biographical information about nuns, and medieval literature are used to show that ordination and family life were not opposing categories for many women, suggesting that we need to revise our understanding of what it meant to be a “nun” in medieval Japan.

Originally recorded on 22 September 2012
(c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Lisa Grumbach

A video version of this talk is also available.

Nuns at Home, Nuns as Homebuilders: Rethinking Ordination and Family in Medieval Japan, audio
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