Love, Unknowing, and Female Filth: The Buddhist Discourse of Birth as a Vector of Social Change for Monastic Women in Premodern South Asia

  title={Love, Unknowing, and Female Filth: The Buddhist Discourse of Birth as a Vector of Social Change for Monastic Women in Premodern South Asia},
  journal={Primary Sources and Asian Pasts},
  • Unknowing
  • Published 9 November 2020
  • Sociology
  • Primary Sources and Asian Pasts
Despite its ubiquity in the classical tradition, the premodern South Asian Buddhist tale of the suffering fetus in the filthy female womb is often read as medical, a pseudobiological interpolation in the “religious” canon of classical Buddhism. Leaving aside theoretical questions about how well categories like “science” and “religion” serve us in understanding premodern South Asian Buddhist cultural worlds, this essay argues that Buddhist narratives about the suffering fetus and the foul female… 
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