Kultur- und Religionsgeschichte Südasiens
Cultural and Religious History of South Asia



Forschungsprojekt | Research project

Gender, Religion, and Agency

About the collaborative research project

The collaborative research project “Gender, Religion, and Agency” looks at the gendered religious and ritual agency in South Asian religious traditions. Traditionally, in most mainstream religious traditions in South Asia, only men are entitled to positions of religious and ritual leadership. However, this situation recently started to change: in an increasing number of contexts, women - as well as transgender or non-binary persons - can and do now undergo monastic and priestly education; they can receive ordination/initiation, and they are accepted as ascetic religious leaders. Many of these processes take place outside of traditional religious institutions. Yet women, transgender, and non-binary persons are successful in establishing new religious trends and currents, attracting many followers, occupying positions of religious leadership on par with men. In some cases, this process takes place in collaboration with male performers, in others against their will. 

This collaborative project brings together scholars who conduct in-depth studies of culturally, historically, and geographically specific situations. The project participants look at the historical background, contemporary trajectories, and impact of the emergence of new powerful agencies in culturally and politically conservative religious traditions. Together, they work towards developing new methods to analyze intersectionality, and contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics connected to global flows of gender and religion.

Albrecht, Jessica Annette (Heidelberg University, Germany)

Theosophy and English language Womens’ Education in colonial Sri Lanka

Albrecht, Jessica Annette

Jessica Albrecht’s doctoral project „Theosophy and English language Womens’ Education in colonial Sri Lanka“is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). She looks at the history of girls’ education and religion in Sri Lanka. In particular, one of the aims of the project is to illuminate the relationships and connections between European women who came to Sri Lanka at the end of the nineteenth century to found girls schools and Sri Lankan girls and women. The other main interest is to look at the importance of girls’ schools in forming a religious and national gendered identity in Sri Lanka. By looking at previously unconsidered institutions in the history of gender and religion, this project will spread light on the agencies of women in Sri Lanka who have often not been considered „authentically religious“, because their actions take place outside of institutional religion.

Jessica Albrecht is a PhD student at the University of Heidelberg. She holds a Master in Gender History from the University of Glasgow and a Master in South Asian Modern Languages and Literature from the University of Heidelberg. She is founder of the interdisciplinary journal and community En-Gender! and mentor at Fem4Scholar.

Daniela, Bevilacqua (SOAS University of London, United Kingdom)

Sacred creativity in contemporary India. The Kinnar Akhāṛā

bevilacqua research

In 2015 Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a hijṛā guru and transgender activist, decided, together with others, to establish the Kinnar Akhāṛā (KA), a new religious Hindu group organised on the model of traditional ascetic orders (akhāṛās). Since hijṛās form an ancient, syncretic religious subculture of transwomen which today is in economic and social hardship, the KA aims to unify groups of hijṛās (now labelled kinnars) reclaiming their Hindu religious identity and dignity, to legitimise their presence and that of transgender people among the Indian masses. While doing so, it also challenges the male patriarchal world of the akhāṛās.

The project investigates the KA as a case study of ‘sacred creativity’ whose consequences and aims can be not only socio-religious but also political. The KA, indeed, results from a revision of the hijṛā traditions and an emulation of the akhāṛā tradition which involves a Sanskritisation of the hijṛā tradition. Since hijṛā traditions combines Hindu and Islamic features, their Sanskritization could be analysed in relation to the anti-Muslim turn taken by the actual Indian government. The KA strongly challenges the Indian patriarchy (religious and social) in support of gender equality, and social justice. Therefore, the project aims to verify whether the KA may be also considered as a form of Religious Feminism.

Crossing gender and religious studies, the project explores how gender norms influence the religious field and how local and global dynamics may lead those considered marginal to subvert larger cultural and social structures, thus disentangling the religious, social but also political dynamics behind ‘creative traditions’ in contemporary India.

Chandra, Vinita (Indian Institute of Technology - Banaras Hindu University, India)

Gender, Religion and Agency: Death Rites for the Transgender

Performance of death rituals occupies a significant place in the life-course of a Hindu. Making funerary offerings to the deceased ancestors, piṇḍadāna, is surviving from a tradition that is said to date back to the Vedas. The tradition revolves around the idea of ritual transmigration of the deceased to the next world- the world of ancestors (pitṛloka). Domestic ritual manuals also describe piṇḍadāna, and the more elaborate śrāddha rites. Traditionally, the transgenders have been denied death rites like those for Hindu men and women. In 2016, the Kinnar Akhara, a transgender organisation, rejected these prohibitions, and resolved to perform piṇḍadāna and śrāddha rites for all the transgenders who passed away recently. This, for them, was claiming right to a dignified end. The rites were performed on the Pishacha Mochan Kund in Varanasi. The present paper seeks to document the transformation of the death rituals for the transgender and locate this transformation on the plane of the discourse on gender and religious agency. Oral interviews with the members of the transgender community and members of the Kinnar Akhara are being conducted. To find out the response of the wider Hindu community to the ongoing transformation on the religious landscape, Hindu priests, and other people are also being interviewed.

Dębicka-Borek, Ewa (Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland)

Taming the Huntress: Gender and Agency in Ahobilam Myths and Temple Practice

A myth which till date has been circulated among various communities linked to the center of Narasiṃha worship in Ahobilam (current Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh) concerns an affair of Narasiṃha and a huntress coming from a local hunting-gathering Chenchu tribe. As in the case of other myths which deal with the motif of a recognized god’s second wife, here as well its potency arises from the capability to express reconcilement of various domains which have been sharing the space at the site: Brahmanical, evoked by a male recognized god, and local/tribal evoked by a local girl. Depending on a medium of the Narasiṃha-Chenchata myth’s transmission and circumstances of its origin – ancient oral legends of tribal communities and their Sanskrit version encapsulated in the drama entitled Vāsantikāpariṇaya attributed to the 7th pontiff of Ahobilamaṭha (ca.16th cent.) – this is either Narasiṃha or Chenchata the huntress who has to adjust to the norms of the spouse’s community to live life on her/his side. The project attempts at looking into the scenarios of Ahobilam temple rituals which are popularly interpreted as referring to Narasiṃha and Chenchata romance (e.g. hunting festival, festival of quarrels), with a focus on the role of gender in terms of agency; chiefly in reference to strategies of framing Chenchata into the patriarchal Brahmanic system, but also to areas where her agency might have been maintained.

De Silva, Gihani (Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka)

Monastic Education for Buddhist Nuns in Sri Lanka: A New Phase of Encounter

The registration of Buddhist nuns’ educational institutions in 2019 was a milestone in the field of monastic education in recent years. The Ministry of Education appointed a coordinating instructor Buddhist nun to oversee the activities of these registered educational institutions for the first time. I studied how two nun communities, bhikkhuni-s and silmata-s dealt with these two recent occurrences, taking into consideration the diversity in their levels of agency. In order to better comprehend these responses, I spoke with senior bhikkhuni-s, silmata-s, and government officials. Both Buddhist nun groups considered registration of educational institutions as vital to their continuing existence. Bhikkhuni-s who lacked state support deliberately secured the position of coordinating instructor, even via assisting silmata educational facilities. When the position of coordinating instructor was assigned to a bhikkhuni, some senior silmata-s demonstrated gender traditionalism. Despite the obstacles, the coordinating instructor bhikkhuni was appointed as the assistant director of these educational institutions, as she had a long-term strategy in place to increase the education levels of Buddhist nuns. This article presents a multifaceted picture of contemporary female renunciation that goes beyond the simple identification of agency as resistance and can take several shapes depending on the circumstance.

Erlich, Michal (Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Contemporary Guru-Bhakti Communities: Religion and Wellbeing in the Geographic and Socio-Cultural Peripheries of Delhi

Michal Erlich

Michal Erlich research explores the vernacular meanings of well-being in India’s specific and dynamic contexts as well as how individuals and communities in religious frameworks conceive and pursue well-being. Her current research is about the phenomenon of Guru-led Hindu communities in the peripheries of Delhi. These communities formed of few-hundred devotees belonging to the geographical and socio-cultural margins are pervasive yet under-researched in the academic literature that tends to focus on the dominant culture of Delhi’s middle and upper classes. The peripheral communities are a unique case study because of their hybrid nature. Community members, mostly internal migrants, carry different cultural backgrounds, castes and mother tongues and still they make one community sharing the common hardships of the lower socio-economic classes. Erlich conducted two years (2015-17) of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork within two such communities that were founded by female gurus. Based upon the fieldwork, she aims to uncover, explicate and analyse the hitherto unacknowledged associations existing between the devotees’ membership in a guru-community and their effort to improve their lives and achieve earthly and religious-spiritual wellbeing.

Hüsken, Ute (Heidelberg University, Germany)

The emerging order of nuns in Theravāda Buddhism in the USA and Germany

Hindu priestesses (Strī Purohitā) in Pune

Tradition, Innovation, and Resistance? Training Girls in Vedic Rituals

Buddhist Monks
Buddhist monastics in Placerville, California (© Ute Hüsken)
The emerging order of nuns in Theravāda Buddhism in the USA and Germany

The historical Buddha is believed to have instituted the nuns' community not long after the monks' community. However, it seems that in only one Buddhist Vinaya tradition surviving today (the tradition using the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya prevalent mainly in China and Taiwan) the ordination of women continued uninterruptedly until today. In the other two traditions (Mahāvihāra and Mūlasarvāstivāda, prevalent in South-East Asia resp. Tibet) the order of nuns either never was established or ceased to exist many centuries ago. Today there are a number of local Buddhist communities and transregional traditions that respond to the increasing demand of women to revive "full ordination" (upasampadā) and to live as nuns in a formally established Saṃgha. At the same time, Buddhist women live in totally different worlds, embedded in fundamentally different contexts, and Buddhist women “renounce the world” for very different reasons. Clearly, becoming a Buddhist renunciant (with or without ordination) is received differently in predominantly Buddhist settings (where support systems exist, where cultural value is attached to renouncing, etc.) and in settings where this is perceived as an “exotic” action. While all these issues are clearly interconnected, the story unfolds differently for different people. While the texts suggest uniformity, in practice there are many ways to become a nun, and importantly the general acceptance of a nun among laypeople and among monastics actually never hinges on the textually prescribed procedure of her ordination. Yet the globally dominant discourse is entrenched in a language of monastic law, rights, and egalitarianism, and the ideal picture of a nun is mainly guided by textual descriptions as found in the Vinaya, which however can translate very differently into practice. This project takes a close look especially at the recently established Theravāda nuns’ Sanghas in the San Francisco Bay area and in Germany.

Upanayana Ceremony
Upanayana-initiation of a boy in Pune, performed by a Strī Purohitā (© Ute Hüsken)
Hindu priestesses (Strī Purohitā) in Pune

According to Brahmanic texts in Sanskrit, Vedic learning, initiation into priesthood, and the performance of rituals "for others" (parārtha) is the exclusive right of male members of Brahmin castes. Members of non-Brahmin castes, but also women are traditionally excluded from the right to even listen to the Veda, lest learn specialized religious / ritual theory and practice. While the details of the historical development of this specific conceptualization of religious and ritual agency remain to be explored, we witness a radical change in the contemporary practice in India: In spite of strong opposition from orthodox Brahmin circles, more and more women do in fact today receive training in Sanskritic knowledge and ritual practice. A very active center of female priestly education is in the Indian state of Maharashtra, and here especially the large city Pune. Here, a traditionally trained philanthropist and reformer, Mama Thate, started to train women in Vedic recitation and in the performance of life-cycle rituals (saṃskāra) in the late 1970s. Soon his female students started to teach classes themselves, and today there exist many small private training groups for women, some institutions that educate women in Sanskritic rituals, and many individual women who perform rituals for those who approach them.

At present, this still seems to be a largely upper middle class and urban phenomenon, mainly driven by the dissatisfaction with the services offered by the traditional male priests. Here, the lack of time, exorbitant prices, and the inability to explain the content of the rituals to the clients are mentioned as main reasons to shift from traditional male priests to woman priests. Some training institutions that educate women as Hindu religious specialists, however, see their role mainly in promoting social reform, campaigning against "superstition" and "blind belief". They often mention as an important part of their mission the scientific explanation of the purpose of the ritual services they offer to their clients. These groups do not focus on the religious and ritual empowerment of women alone, but to a similar degree on the empowerment of non-Brahmin castes. There are many more groups and individuals, with a broad range of motivations, from a wide variety of social and religious backgrounds, who are engaged in similar activities, although for very different reasons and with different agendas. All these activities, as different as they may be, are expressions of a shift in the religious and ritual agency of women in Indian Hindu traditions. Yet there is a strong urge among the women to emphasize their connection to, and continuation of the Sanskritic textual tradition.

Female students of the Pāṇini Kanyā Mahāvidyālaya in Varanasi
Female students of the Pāṇini Kanyā Mahāvidyālaya in Varanasi, 2018 (© Ute Hüsken)
Tradition, Innovation, and Resistance? Training Girls in Vedic Rituals

The girls' school Pāṇini Kanyā Mahāvidyālaya in Varanasi (established 1970) is a resident school for girls' (aged 8 to 22 years) which hosts up to 100 girls from all over India. In this school in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge in Sanskrit and Vedic rituals is imparted to the girls, com-plemented by training in martial arts, music, and computer sciences. While traditionalists among the Brahmins claim that women can and may not perform Vedic rituals, this school gives access to religious and ritual knowledge to girls, who since 2014 also publicly perform every morning Vedic rituals at Assi Ghat in Varanasi. This project investigates the history and reception of this school and its activities in the influential Brahmin circles in Varanasi, contextualizes this with view of discussions of female religious agency (adhikāra) in ancient India (esp. mīmāṃsā), and presents the views of the girls themselves on these matters. Which strategies do the wo¬men involved employ to integrate in a tradition that excludes them? What are the competing agen¬das of the diverse stakeholders, also of the men involved in the processes? Does the higher degree of gender equality within this tradition come at the expense of other subjectivities?

Kidpromma, Amnuaypond (Chiang Mai University, Thailand)

Religious piety of female sex workers in Chiangmai, Northern Thailand

kidpromma research

This research explores the religious life and piety of Buddhist female sex workers who work in Chiangmai, Northern Thailand. Sex tourism has made a negative and yet contrasting picture to Thailand where Buddhism plays a major role in providing the foundation for the people’s moral life. In the past, many women were forced to make their living and support the family by prostitution. Recently, however, attitudes towards becoming and being a sex worker seems to have changed. For many sex workers in Thailand, working in this service industry appears to be a personal choice, which allows them to fulfill individual needs rather than to repay gratitude to parents. However, from a normative Buddhist’s view, this type of career is incompatible with ‘being a (good) Buddhist, and accordingly, many sex workers are stigmatised and marginalised by society. Regardless of how Thai Buddhism tries to exclude sex workers from their realm, many still opt to practice Buddhism in order to build on good karma and lessen their demerit action. Meanwhile, some sex workers rely on sacred Buddhist items for their fortune in working. Therefore, through ethnographic method, this research brings together different forms of religious piety practised by female sex workers and argues that Buddhism not only condemns sex workers, but in contrast also provides them psychological support and spiritual protection, and a ‘hope’ for a better life to come.

Malhan, Tara Sheemar (Delhi University, India)

Reclaiming the ‘Witch’: Female Ritual Agency in the Kathāsaritsāgara

The research locates women’s agency as magico-ritual performers in the Sanskrit narratives of the Kathāsaritsāgara, a text from late 11th century Kashmir. The specific focus is on the string of stories concerning the ‘witch’ or ḍākini Kālarātrī, and her disciple, queen Kuvalyāvalī. We can draw relevant inferences about the manner in which religion and ritual was imagined in the Sanskrit literary space, which would then have wider implications. The story is one of many in the text that detail themes, actions and actors connected with magico-ritual practice, usually referred to by the term mantra-siddhi. The narrative demonstrates the independent and secret practice of Tantra by women teachers. It also depicts a counter-productive outcome, particularly severe for the royal household. Overall, the text establishes a contrast between the sanctioned practices of vowed observance (vrata) and ascetic control (tapas). The textual imagining is suggestive of the greater role of women as leaders, teachers and ritual performers within certain cults. The narrative device of subversion indicates the historical process that gradually divested women of their ritual leadership.

Phulera, Jyoti (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)

'Neither here nor there', Moonfaced men, and Women: Aspects of Sexuality and Gender in Sufism in India ( c.1100-1500)

Largely, following the assertion of scholars like Marshall Hodgson, it is believed that Sufis functioned in opposition to the dogmatic ideology of the ulema; and sufism is perceived to be a liberating religious space for different gender identities. However any comprehensive study of gender and women within Sufism is yet to be undertaken. The project examines the normative attitudes on gender present in this literature and proceeds to challenged essentialised readings of gender, to unveil the variety of reflections on Ascetism, Marriage, Sexuality and Female Body in the Sufi thought. In this vein the nature of female participation and the strategies of negotiation of space resorted to by actual women are sought to be examined as well. Going beyond a focus on women alone, the project explores the theme further and embraces themes like masculinity and gendered ethics, sexuality, non hetero-normative gender identities, homo-eroticism, to reach at a broader understanding of the play of gender within the sufi thought and praxis.

Shetty, Yogitha (University of Mysore, India) & Schuster-Löhlau, Pauline (University of Würzburg, Germany)

Reinventing Selves: Religiosity and Female Agency in the Siri Tradition of Tulunad in India

Yogitha Shetty
Yogitha Shetty
Pauline Schuster-Löhlau
Pauline Schuster-Löhlau

Three generations of women starting with Siri constitute one of the most significant set of female deities worshipped in the South Indian locale of Tulunad, the ‘land of Tulu people.’ The lives and the divine characters of Siri and her progeny are remembered in and through an elaborate oral song, the Siri pāḍdana. Furthermore, the seven female deities are embodied by many Tulu women during annual ‘possession’ rituals called Siri jātrɛ. Once a woman is identified as one of the Siri deities, she continues to serve that specific deity as a medium throughout her life. This bodily mediumship, in turn, provides the woman with a distinct religious and social identity and purpose.

With both the Siri oral narrative and the Siri worship tradition being predominantly female-centric, delimitating it from the largely male-centred religious cosmos of Tulu people, our project focuses on the way female agency unfolds on multiple levels within the Siri worship tradition. Beginning with the understanding that agency can also be located outside the compliance-resistance paradigm, we attempt to recognize the way women associated with the Siri deities at different levels in the local worship system configure and reconfigure their subjective selves. For this purpose, using ethnographic methods (especially interviews), we rely largely on the interpretive accounts of the men and women, siris and kumāras, participating in the Siri worship.

Wittich, Agi (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)

Her Yoga: Women-Oriented Iyengar Yoga – Between Innovation and Tradition

IY teacher Ora Drori (Jane Shmilovitz) preforming Women-Oriented IY practices
Photograph: IY teacher Ora Drori (Jane Shmilovitz) preforming Women-Oriented IY practices

Women-Oriented Iyengar Yoga practice is what I recognize as an innovative and separate layer of knowledge within the Iyengar Yoga (IY) tradition, which denotes the means by which the IY tradition has altered the practices and concepts of what they understand to be the classical yoga tradition (CYT), to accommodate women. I position Women-Oriented IY practice as a contemporary phenomenon interfacing with Dharmic and Western ideas that illustrate an ongoing dialogue between Eastern and Western thoughts. Considering the hybrid and intersectional identities of IY members and Neoliberal and Religious Feminist views, I explore the various responses of IY teachers towards Women-Oriented IY practices, as they were understood to affect female practitioners' agency and choice. The IY tradition positions them as part of the CYT, through self-recognition as part of a continued succession of guru-disciple lineage, paraṃpara, Sanskrit terminology, referral to Sanskrit texts, and a narrative regarding women's continuous yoga practice. I investigate the narrative as an indoctrinatory tool, which emphasizes the mother-yoginī model as the ideal for contemporary women yoga practitioners, which conflicts with the IY tradition's ideal yoga practice, presenting both a “sticky floor” and a “glass ceiling” for women. Still, basing my findings on interviews, I recognize a strong voice among IY teachers that understands these practices as catering to women's cultural circumstances, placing their preferences as a priority, facilitating a space in which they can partake in the yoga practice, and empower them while doing so.


In July 2018 an intense collaborative three-day workshop. on “Female Religious Agency” was convened by Ute Hüsken at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University. This collaboration resulted in the forthcoming volume “Laughter, Creativity and Perseverance” which is accepted for publication by Oxford University Press.

In August 2020, Ute Hüsken (SAI) and Vinita Chandra (IIT/BHU) convened the online workshop “Female Religious Leaders and Dynamics of Female Agency in Religious Settings in South Asia" as part of their DAAD collaboration Exploring Cultures of Learning. Originally planned as a pre-conference workshop to the ECSAS in Vienna, this workshop was conducted enrtirely online due to the Covid19 pandemic. This then new format proved to be very conducive to in-depth discussions across disciplinary and boundaries, and facilitated the active participation of budding researchers worldwide.

On the European Conference of South Asian Studies in Vienna (Austria), postponed to late July 2021, Ute Hüsken (SAI, Heidelberg) and Vinita Chandra (IIT/BHU, Varanasi) convened the panel "Dynamics of Female Agency in Indian Religions" . This event, which (due to the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic) was held in a ‘hybrid’ mode, served as a further forum for the discussion of diverse forms and dynamics of non-male religious and ritual leadership in a variety of Indian religious traditions. The gathering facilitated further conversations between scholars who conduct in-depth studies of culturally, historically and geographically specific situations.


Ute Hüsken, "Frauen als Priesterinnen im ‚Sanskrit-Hinduismus‘-eine Tradition im Wandel?“ Zeitschrift für Indologie und Südasienkunde 37 (2020): 1-25.

Ute Hüsken, “Priesterinnen zwischen Tradition und Umbruch: Geschlechtergerechtigkeit im hinduistischen Indien.“ In Ruperto Carola Forschungsmagazin 14 (Juni 2019): pp. 26-35.

Ute Hüsken, “Gender and Early Buddhist Monasticism.” In Saddharmāmṛtam. Festschrift für Jens-Uwe Hartmann zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. by Oliver von Criegern, Gudrun Melzer und Johannes Schneider, Wien: Arbeitskreis für tibetische und buddhistische Studien (Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, Heft 93), 2018, pp. 215-230.

Ute Hüsken, “Translation and Transcreation: Monastic Practice in Transcultural Settings.” In Reading Slowly: A Festschrift for Jens E. Braarvig, Lutz Edzard, Jens W. Borgland and Ute Hüsken (eds.). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2018, pp. 257-272.

Ute Hüsken, “Theravāda Nuns in the United States. Modernization and Traditionalization.” In: Buddhist Modernities. Re-inventing Tradition in the Globalizing Modern World (Routledge Studies in Religion), ed. by Hanna Havnevik, Ute Hüsken, Mark Teeuwen, Vladimir Tikhonov, and Koen Wellens, New York: Routledge, 2017, pp. 243-258.

Ute Hüsken, “Hindu Priestesses in Pune. Shifting Denial of Ritual Agency.” In The Ambivalence of Denial. Danger and Appeal of Rituals, ed. by Ute Hüsken and Udo Simon,Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016, pp. 21-42.

Ute Hüsken, „Denial as Silencing: On Women's Ritual Agency in a South Indian Brahmin Tradition."In The Denial of Ritual, ed. by Ute Hüsken and Donna L. Seamone, Special issue of The Journal of Ritual Studies (2013) 27.1: 21-34.

Ute Hüsken, “Die acht Garudhammas.” In Mit Würde und Beharrlichkeit Die Erneuerung buddhistischer Nonnenorden, ed. by Jampa Tsedroen, Berlin: Edition Steinrich, 2011, pp. 232-240.

Ute Hüsken, with Petra Kieffer-Pülz. “Buddhist Ordination as Initiation Ritual and Legal Procedure.” In Negotiating Rites, ed. by Ute Hüsken & Frank Neubert, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 255-276.

Ute Hüsken, “The Eight Garudhammas.” In Dignity and Discipline. The Evolving Role of Women in Buddhism, ed. by Thea Mohr & Jampa Tsedroen, Sommerville: Wisdom Publications, 2010, pp. 143-148.

Ute Hüsken, “‘Gotamī, do not wish to go from home to homelessness!’ Patterns of objections to female asceticism in Theravāda Buddhism.” In Asceticism and Its Critics: Historical Accounts and Comparative Perspectives, ed. by Oliver Freiberger, New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 211-233.

Ute Hüsken, “Vadhūdharmacandrikā – ‘Moonlight of Female Duties’.” In Aspects of the Female in Indian Culture, ed. by Ulrike Roesler & Jayandra Soni (Arbeitsmaterialien zur Religionsgeschichte 17; Indica et Tibetica 44), Marburg: Indica et Tibetica, 2005, pp. 133-165.

Ute Hüsken, “Pure or Clean?” Traditional South Asian Medicine (formerly Journal of the European Āyurvedic Society) 6 (2001): 85-96.

Ute Hüsken, “The Legend of the Establishment of the Buddhist Order of Nuns in the Theravāda Vinaya-Piṭaka.” Journal of the Pali Text Society 26 (2000): 43-69.

Ute Hüsken, “Rephrased Rules. The Application of Monks' Prescriptions to the Nuns' Discipline in Early Buddhist Law.” Buddhist Studies (Bukkyō Kenkyu) 28 (1999): 19-29.

Ute Hüsken, “A Stock of Bowls Requires a Stock of Robes. Relations of the Rules for Nuns in the Theravāda Vinaya and the Bhikṣuṇī-Vinaya of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādin.” In Untersuchungen zur buddhistischen Literatur II, Gustav Roth zum 80. Geburtstag gewidmet, ed. by H. Bechert, S. Bretfeld & P. Kieffer-Pülz (Sanskrit-Wörterbuch der buddhistischen Texte aus den Turfan-Funden, Beiheft 8), Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1997, pp. 201-238.

Ute Hüsken, Die Vorschriften für die buddhistische Nonnengemeinde im Vinaya-Piṭaka der Theravādin (Monographien zur indischen Archäologie, Kunst und Philologie, 11) Berlin: Reimer, 1997.


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