The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality

The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality Is There A Buddhist Discourse On Sex In This Innovative Study, Bernard Faure Reveals Buddhism S Paradoxical Attitudes Toward Sexuality His Remarkably Broad Range Covers The Entire Geography Of This Religion, And Its Long Evolution From The Time Of Its Founder, Xvkyamuni, To The Premodern Age The Author S Anthropological Approach Uncovers The Inherent Discrepancies Between The Normative Teachings Of Buddhism And What Its Followers Practice Framing His Discussion On Some Of The Most Prominent Western Thinkers Of Sexuality Georges Bataille And Michel Foucault Faure Draws From Different Reservoirs Of Writings, Such As The Orthodox And Heterodox Doctrines Of Buddhism, And Its Monastic Codes Virtually Untapped Mythological As Well As Legal Sources Are Also Used The Dialectics Inherent In Mahvyvna Buddhism, In Particular In The Tantric And Chan Zen Traditions, Seemed To Allow For Greater Laxity And Even Encouraged Breaking Of Taboos Faure Also Offers A History Of Buddhist Monastic Life, Which Has Been Buffeted By Anticlerical Attitudes, And By Attempts To Regulate Sexual Behavior From Both Within And Beyond The Monastery In Two Chapters Devoted To Buddhist Homosexuality, He Examines The Way In Which This Sexual Behavior Was Simultaneously Condemned And Idealized In Medieval Japan This Book Will Appeal Especially To Those Interested In The Cultural History Of Buddhism And In Premodern Japanese Culture But The Story Of How One Of The World S Oldest Religions Has Faced One Of Life S Greatest Problems Makes Fascinating Reading For All

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❰Reading❯ ➶ The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality Author Bernard Faure – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Paperback
  • 324 pages
  • The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality
  • Bernard Faure
  • English
  • 08 August 2017
  • 9780691059976

10 thoughts on “The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality

  1. says:

    The Red Thread Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality by Bernard Faure manages to be both scholarly and a fun read at the same time In an attempt to uncover a Buddhist discourse on sex Faure examines a wide variety of source, ranging from monastic texts, novels, plays, poetics, legal texts myths etc., and considers the role both social and political factors play in shaping religious doctrine Faure does not dwell overmuch on the Indian roots of Buddhism, and most of the materials he draws upon are from Chinese and Japanese sources A key point he makes is that there is really no universal Buddhism, but rather multivocal Buddhisms.Faure notes, at the outset, that in the text Woman is conspicuously absent, or she appears in as much as she is an element of the Buddhist discourse on sexuality not for herself, as individual, but as one pole of attraction or repulsion in a gendered male discourse about sex Denied the role of a subject in this discourse, she is primarily the emblem of larger generative, karmic or social processes, with positive or negative soteriological value.Indeed, The Red Thread does focus almost entirely on male desire for women or male to male desire, and whilst there are occasional references to women s desire for men or for other women this book is largely about addressing issues around desire from a male perspective hence he does not really get past the portrayal of women as either dangerous seductresses or potential saviours he promises to look closely at gender issues in Buddhism in a future work Faure has a good deal to say about the problem of desire in the monastic Buddhist setting there is an extensive examination of the Japanese nanshoku tradition of male love ranging from aesthetics to jokes about Buddhist priests and their novices and the forced moving of particularly alluring acolytes from monasteries he also discusses Zen, the crazy wisdom traditions and Buddhist Tantric instances.Whilst I enjoyed reading The Red Thread I d say its probably better to view it as a sourcebook rather than anything substantive, particularly as Faure actively shies away from drawing anything that resembles an overall conclusion about the wealth of material he examines.Example of a Japanese joke from Faure Once a priest and his disciple went to a benefactor s house with some religious papers When they reached the door, they found that the disciple s belt had come loose and the papers had fallen out It looks as if you had no bottom said the priest If I hadn t, returned the disciple, you wouldn t be able to exist for a single day

  2. says:

    A useful book on sexuality and the Buddhist phenomenon as seen through the eyes of a French academic happy to use the insights of Foucault and Bataille He refuses to reify a way of seeing that goes back over two millennia and covers huge areas of Asian space but this means that his analysis is suggestive rather than conclusive This has the virtue of honesty.Similarly, Faure does not shy away from his own deep knowledge of Japanese literary and religious culture and his obvious interest in leading us towards his next planned book on women in Buddhism.This means something of an over emphasis on Japan and a tendency to a sub feminist discourse but these are minor critisms of a book that should be essential reading for any sentimentalist about Buddhism.The section on the paedophiliac rape culture of Japanese medieval Buddhism indicates a deviant and exploitative use by an essentially sex negative culture not so different from Judaeo Christianity.Indeed, the overwhelming impression of Buddhism is of yet another essentialist displacement of natural sexual urges into rules, neurosis and petty cruelties fairly typical of all resource poor cultures.Faure is kind to modern women s appropriation of Buddhism but one has to ask what the point of such detournements can possibly be when you could happily ditch the old and start again.These great religions seem to be little than frameworks for inventing ways of managing power relations and sex is the greatest of all power plays Managing sex becomes central to religion.The suffering of the vulnerable not only women but young men and children as well as the marginalised imposed by the men of the text, generally linked to aristocratic authority, has been tragic.Still, given the structures of power built around lack of resources, the weak take what they can from the given system At least, the subversion of religion by say consensual homosexuals is heartening The play between Power and the subjects of power becomes in this Foucauldian analysis a game making use of the weapons to hand and inherited religious forms are simply what is to hand.To anyone interested in Buddhist culture evolving over time and in the ideology and underlying meaning of religion not the texts but the real use of religion as power , this book will be highly stimulating.But a critique of religion which sees it for what it is without getting nasty about something that fulfils a desperate need, for all its absurdities and often unintended cruelties, is still needed It would be customary here to talk about the other side of religion the high aesthetics, the comfort, the complex and subtle meanings, the welfare provision which was very real in very poor societies.But we have to ask why, especially in the sexual arena, contemporary, highly educated and intelligent people still cling to forms inherited from the Iron Age but they do And that is that

  3. says:

    It quite interesting to find out that homosexuality in medieval Japan is perceived as Buddhist, Manjuri is considered the most important patron of male homosexuality Faure s apt use of Bataillean concept of transgression and Foucultian concept of power allows us to see the multiple power relations from below that produces mobile and transitory points of resistance, unstable fault lines Even the dominant discourses like the five feminine obstacles can become a factor of hope, a reason to claim gender equality It s best to read this book together with Riven by Lust and A Bull of Man.I ll certainly re read it in conjunction with my dissertation writing.

  4. says:

    A bit on the academic side, but still a fascinating look at the way the Buddhist views on sexuality have evolved through time and space.

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