The Transmission of Buddhism among Lay Women in Rural Northern China

Ziying You (The College of Wooster)

This paper examines how Chinese lay Buddhist women cultivate and exercise agency in their religious practices in rural northern China. My research is based on the fieldwork that I conducted at a Buddhist temple in rural Shanxi in 2019, and on the virtual ethnography conducted in 2020. I illustrate the role of lay Buddhist women in transmitting Buddhism in rural China, their engagement in building local communities, and their creative agency in everyday practices. Particularly I examine how they have formed hybrid communities, empowered themselves to transcend life and death, and make everyday rituals to integrate vegetarianism and community building.

Part of 01-05 Women, Belief, and Everyday Religious Experiences in Contemporary Multi-ethnic China [hybrid], Thursday, October 13, 8:00 am–10:00 am