Sex in the Cloister: Behind the image of the “criminal monk” in Ming courtroom tales



Wu, J ORCID: 0000-0002-8758-8382
(2020) Sex in the Cloister: Behind the image of the “criminal monk” in Ming courtroom tales. T'oung Pao: international journal of Chinese studies, 105 (5-6). 545 - 586.

[img] Text
[15685322 - T'oung Pao] Sex in the Cloister_ Behind the Image of the “Criminal Monk” in Ming Courtroom Tales.pdf - OA Published Version

Download (507kB) | Preview

Abstract

Buddhist monks were commonly portrayed as seducers and even rapists in late sixteenth-century vernacular literature, including, most commonly, courtroom tales (gong’an 公案). Do these stories reflect a deterioration in clerical morality and behavior, or a decline in Buddhist faith and practice, as is sometimes argued? Neither explanation is credible. I argue that the image of monks in courtroom tales should be understood as a literary convention, growing out the burgeoning market for entertainment literature, rather than a window onto social reality. It also reflects an increasing male anxiety about the control of women.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 09:25
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2021 18:10
DOI: 10.1163/15685322-10556P02
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3110367