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Sexual Subjectivity in Vinaya Case Law concerning Sexual Violation and Misconduct


Abstract for Online Program Book (maximum 1200 characters including spaces)

This paper brings classical Indian Buddhist discussions of sex and sexual discipline into “reciprocal conversation” with feminist philosopher Linda Martin Alcoff’s work on sexual subjectivity. In particular, it examines the interplay of intention, pleasure, desire, and consent in descriptions of sexual violation and misconduct, mainly in the Pāli vinaya. Drawing on four case studies – the rape victim Uppalavaṇṇā, the rape accuser Mettiyā, Sudinna whose transgression with his wife is the occasion for the promulgation of pārājika I, and a sleeping monk raped by a passing village woman – it sketches the outlines of a classical Buddhist sexual subjectivity, and draws ethical through lines from ancient times to today.