On Women as Teachers in Early Buddhism

Dhammadinna and Khema

Authors

  • Gisela Krey University of Bonn

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v27i1.17

Keywords:

Buddhist women, Buddhist nuns, Dhammadinnā, and Khemā

Abstract

The present article investigates two prominent bhikkhunis, Dhammadinna and Khema, who were renowned for their preaching abilities in the time of the Buddha. It focuses on two texts of the Sutta-pitaka, the Culavedalla-sutta and the Khema-sutta, and demonstrates how and why these texts were among the most authoritative in providing a measure for spiritual leadership among bhikkhunis in early Buddhism. Among women who taught the Dhamma, Dhammadinna and Khema attract attention because the texts show them even teaching male listeners of high status. The examples of female leadership presented here challenge any view that throws doubt on the spiritual capability of women and may be used as models by contemporary Buddhist nuns.

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Published

2010-09-07

How to Cite

Krey, G. (2010). On Women as Teachers in Early Buddhism: Dhammadinna and Khema. Buddhist Studies Review, 27(1), 17–40. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v27i1.17

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Section

Women’s Leadership Roles in Theravāda Buddhist Traditions