Buddhist Studies Review, Vol 27, No 1 (2010)

Peeling Back the Layers: Female Higher Ordination in Sri Lanka

Vanessa Sasson

Abstract


The question of higher ordination for Theravāda women is a complicated one. Although thousands of Buddhist women in a number of different Theravāda countries pursue a life of homelessness and renunciation, the majority are not recognized as ordained renunciants by their surrounding male monastic orders. This paper explores some of the reasons behind the general reticence concerning higher ordination felt by many of the silmātas interviewed, and focuses specifically on some of the socio-economic factors that may be affecting their decision-making process

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