Theory and Practice of Buddhist Feminist Movement in Taiwan: From Advocating Animal Rights to Female Rights

Translated Titles





釋昭慧(Chao-Hwei Shih)

Key Words

動物權 ; 台灣佛門女權運動 ; 護生 ; 緣起(s. pratītya-samutpāda ; p. pațicca-samuppāda) ; 男性沙文主義 ; 比丘尼 ; 八敬法(p.s. Ațțha Garudhammā) ; 廢除八敬法運動 ; 達賴喇嘛 ; 菩薩道 ; animal rights ; the Buddhist Feminist Movement in Taiwan ; Life Protection ; Dependent Origination (s. pratīya-samutpāda ; p. paticca-samuppāda) ; male chauvinism ; bhiksuni ; "the Eight Special Rules" (p.s. Ațțha Garudhammā) ; the Abolishment of the Ațțha Garudhammā ; Dalai Lama ; the Bodhisattva Path



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

9期(2008 / 03 / 01)

Page #

121 - 143

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze: (1) the author's mental journey from advocating animal rights to female rights in Buddhism, (2) the situational background against which the movement was initiated, (3) strategic thinking about movement building, (4) the assessment of the strategy and action plan's effectiveness, and (5) bottlenecks to the development of the movement.In my previous papers, I stated that ”the Eight Special Rules” (Ațțha Garudhammā) legitimizing gender discrimination were not formulated by the Buddha. In this paper, based on the current situation in Buddhist communities, I would like to further point out the fact that not only have the rules twisted the healthy relationship between men and women in daily interactions and rituals, but also the minds of practitioners. That is, by enforcing the rules, a mixed sense of inferiority and superiority was elicited through them, and the emotions of jealousy and superciliousness also evolved.Additionally, ”the Eight Special Rules” also frame a far-reaching and inescapable so-called ”gender order” that manifests in various forms of rituals and gatherings in Buddhism. This draws Buddhism towards becoming an obsolete religion that extremely discriminates against females.However, words alone are not enough. To effect change, we need to take action! Thus I weighed the entire situation and realized that, in order to deconstruct Buddhist male chauvinism, I must start at ”the Abolishment of the Eight Special Rules”. Furthermore, I decided that I would not let this dispute develop into a tempest in a teapot engineered by Buddhists alone. I believed that if an appropriate amount of public pressure was brought to bear on the Buddhist community, then the mental state of the male chauvinists in the entire community could be pressed to transform and evolve.At the end of March 2001, I took advantage of an opportune situation, as the Dalai Lama visiting Taiwan, to initiate the movement of abolishing ”the Eight Special Rules”, and appealed to him to restore the bhiksuni ordination lineage for Tibetan nuns. The Buddhist Feminist Movement turned out to be a hot topic in the media at that time. Not only did it receive strong support from public opinion, but also gave a great shock to the male chauvinists in the Buddhist community, which really taught them a good lesson as expected.

Topic Category 人文學 > 宗教學
  1. Regan, Tom(2004).The Case for Animal Rights.Berkeley:University of California Press.
Times Cited
  1. 林祐立(2013)。農場動物福利之實然與應然-以我國法制之檢討分析為中心。臺灣大學法律學研究所學位論文。2013。1-340。