Studies

Critique of the article entitled Images of Women in Early Buddhism and Christian Gnosticism

The research question for the paper is clearly stated as: Why should these negative attitudes towards women persist when we know that women actively supported and participated in the religious life of both Buddhist and Gnostic communities?. This research question is very important given that it shows that the author has point to prove especially with regards to the way women are treated by their male counterparts in different religions especially the two mentioned above. Lang is also try to portray different views that are held by various scholars with regards to the way women are viewed in different religious sectors. In terms of coverage of the topic, it can be seen that the author used different scholarly studies though they are limited about what Gnostic and Bhuddist religions say about women. For instance, Pagels is one of the most cited scholarly article in this research. The credibility of the literature used becomes doubtful which can negatively impact on the article’s authenticity. On the other hand, it can be observed that the major problem the author tries to address is that women have been active participants in religious activities but they are labelled as evil and improper. The author suggests that women are sensual and responsible for seducing man. Both religions suggest that the wrong doing of women disrupted the world which was once perfect. This thesis statement seeks to show that the author is of the view that women are responsible for human kind’s disgrace on earth. A critical reading of the article shows that the author restates the thesis throughout the article and she tries to answer the research question identified above in the article. The way she presents her argument is convincing since she is relying on other scholarly articles. The author uses different claims in supporting the myths that both religions mentioned above suggest that human kind fell from God’s grace after eating forbidden fruits. The Buddhist myth posits to the effect that men’s disgrace came after he tasted the food known as ‘female.’ These claims tend to blame women but men are also involved in the commission of this particular sin. They must also be labelled as imperfect just like their male counterparts. This part is not quite convincing to the reader since all the blame is laid on the women while men too are involved. The evidence presented by the author in advancing her argument shows that women are viewed as agents of the devil since they are responsible for driving men into committing sins that have led them to fall from humanity. The argument is supported in Temptress Daughter of Evil (5) where women are portrayed as inferior and temples of the devil by the Bhudhists. Women are viewed as purely sensual with uncontrollable desires in a number of Bhudhist texts. Therefore, it can be argued that women are not evil since they cohabitate with their male counterparts. this is the view being presented by Lang in her article. The author also says that even Christianity also states that holiness can be fully achieved if men live a life of purity as

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