Buddhism after Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism

By Rita M. Gross | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This book is the result of many years of hard work and contemplation. Without the inspiration of my teachers and the encouragement of my friends, this task would never have been begun or completed.

First I would like to thank my academic teachers. Florence Walzi of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee encouraged me to be serious about an academic career at a time when undergraduate women were generally steered in other directions. I am deeply grateful to the late Mircea Eliade, who first suggested that I devote a major portion of my academic research to the study of women and religion. Charles H. Long and Joseph M. Kitagawa, also of the University of Chicago, have continued to encourage this scholarship.

From my dharma teachers, whom I encountered much later, I learned different lessons, but they are equally critical. The late Chogyam Trungpa and the late Osel Tendzin were brilliant, outrageous, incredibly kind, and very controversial teachers. They inspired their students to uncommon dedication and courage. They also challenged us to carry forward their own vast vision into all areas of life, to regard living and practicing the dharma as inseparable.

Friends in the many worlds that I inhabit have all encouraged me to continue, have read and commented upon earlier drafts of portions of this book, and have provided sorely needed companionship at critical stages in the process of learning enough to be able to complete this book. In the world of academic scholarship, my dear friend Nancy A. Falk has been a constant source of encouragement and helpful feedback. In the early years of my academic career, the community of young feminist scholars of religion was a sustaining force. Carol Christ, Naomi Goldenberg, Judith Plaskow, and many others, helped give me the courage it took to be a young feminist scholar in the early days of feminist scholarship. Among Buddhist friends, I especially want to acknowledge Jean and Brus Westby, Cassell Gross, and Jaird de Raismes, true companions of the Way. The world of Buddhist-Christian dialogue and encounter has increasingly become a significant community of support and encouragement. I want to thank David Chappell for frequent doses of enthusiasm for my project, Frederick Streng for helpful discussions of methodology, and John Cobb for first challenging me to acknowledge Western roots of my Buddhist feminism. My friend Judith Simmer-Brown is involved in so many common areas of discussion that I am at a loss to place her in a single category. Many other voices

-ix-

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