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The Rise of Female's Era (kundao yingyun 坤道應運): Notions of Female Gender in Yiguan Dao 一貫道
Yiguan Dao;notions of female gender;kundao yingyun;Sun Huiming
|Issue Date:||2019-11-29 09:21:27 (UTC+8)|
The notion of female gender in Yiguan Dao is differentiated into two parts: ＂Dual Gender Equality of the Anterior Heaven＂ (liangxing xiantian pingdeng 兩性先天平等) and ＂Limitations of the Female Body of the Posterior Heaven＂ (nüshen houtian xianzhi 女身後天限制). In Yiguan Dao's doctrine, the Heaven of Principle (litian 理天) is the origin of all things and does not divide yin 陰 (female) and yang 陽 (male), while in their philosophy of human nature, human beings and Heaven share the same origin. From these principles, the source of all things does not distinguish gender. Yiguan Dao is also accustomed to designating Lao Muniang 老□娘, a deity of female form, as the supreme deity which they worship, which transmits a vague awareness of the principle ＂Dual Gender Equality of the Anterior Heaven.＂ Moreover, Yiguan Dao also acknowledges the physical limitations of the female body and the fact that women cannot be granted heavy responsibility in a family or society. Thus, this gives rise to the inequality after birth. After Sun Huiming 孫慧明 became one of the 18^(th) ancestral masters through her female identity, a new attitude towards female gender arose in the church-＂the rise of female's era＂ (kundao yingyun 坤道應運). Kundao yingyun indicates that the status of females has risen and that women assume significant roles in society and the church. Since Sun Huiming assumed the duty of ancestral master, she is often regarded as the source and validation of kundao yingyun. Sun has become a symbol, representing women who hold the right to cultivation, and even more broadly so for cultivation. This can also be used to explain the ability of modern women to rise to even higher positions within Yiguan Dao. This article also discusses ＂women of pure cultivation＂ (qingxiu nüxing 清修女性) within Yiguan Dao, who never marry and devote their entire body and heart to the church. Through investing themselves in religious activities, they seek self-realization and by doing so oppose the traditional custom in society of unmarried women not being listed in the ancestral hall. By dedicating themselves to the church, they hope to obtain a higher position than in the common secular family lineage sacrificial rites. Unmarried women of pure cultivation also embody a more sacred image because they have transcended traditional beliefs of menstruation, sexual intercourse, death, and giving birth, events all laden with notions of uncleanliness.
|Relation:||華人宗教研究, 7, 175-198|
|Appears in Collections:||[Studies in Chinese Religions ] Journal Articles|
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