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Dignity and Discipline

Reviving Full Ordination for Buddhist Nuns

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When the Buddha established his community over twenty-five centuries ago, he did so upon a foundation of radical equality among women and men. And indeed, the earliest Buddhist scriptures celebrate the teachings and inspiring influence of these path-blazing female renunciants. Nonetheless, through much of the Buddhist world, the order of nuns has disappeared or was never transmitted at all.

Dignity & Discipline represents a watershed moment in Buddhist history, as the Dalai Lama together with scholars and monastics from around the world, present powerful cases, grounded in both scripture and a profound appeal to human dignity, that the order of Buddhist nuns can and should be fully restored.

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (May 1, 2014)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861718306

"The controversy surrounding full female ordination is one of the most pressing issues facing modern Buddhism. Dignity and Discipline is without a doubt the most valuable book on the subject to date, and should be required reading for anyone interested in contemporary Buddhism."

– Buddhadharma: The Buddhist Review

"This carefully edited volume--comprehensive in scope and well organized in presentation--offers rare insight into the doctrines and monastic laws that contemporary Buddhist clerics are drawing upon in their efforts to restore the bhikkhuni sagha. It is essential reading for those who want to understand how Buddhists are thinking through the question of bhikkhuni ordination. I recommend this volume with warm enthusiasm."

– Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"A selection of the papers from...a public dialogue on a global scale: [one that] brought together Buddhist scholars and practitioners, Asian and Western, across sectarian boundaries, to discuss a shared and pressing concern that has larger implications for how Buddhism will adapt to changing socio-historical contexts.... The opening essay...boldly envisions what a future with a strong, vibrant order of fully ordained Buddhist nuns might look like and how they might contribute to current global issues... Dignity & Discipline documents an important and unique moment in Buddhist history...[and] the editors have been successful in creating a readable volume that works as a whole."

– Journal of Global Buddhism