About the Book

Looking through the walls of a cloistered monastic community, such as a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery, is nearly impossible as lay person. These religious communities are multi-layered in being simultaneously places of spiritual development, Buddhist scholasticism, and religious devotion. Chandra Chiara Ehm lived for nearly a decade behind the walls of Khachoe Ghakyil Ling nunnery in the Nepalese Himalayas. During this time, she collected the nuns’ stories and studied their lifestyle and their scholarship.

This book invites the reader to step through the convent’s walls to explore Tibetan monastic life from the perspective of the nuns. Her ethnography offers a first-hand account of life in the nunnery, carefully calibrated within a theoretical frame to investigate the historical social aspects of monastic institutions.

Another important theme Ehm depicts is the religious hierarchy and the remarkable changes that globalisation, feminism, and secularisation have brought to this gender balance and the nuns’ monastic life in recent years.

This vivid and comprehensive study of female monastic life provides novel insights with essential implications for the inter- and intra-religious analysis of monasticism today.

About the Author

CHANDRA CHIARA EHM is a researcher in Tibetan and religious studies affiliated with the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE) and the Centre de recherche sur les civilisations de l’Asie orientale (CRCAO), Paris, and with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich. She works with both philological and qualitative research methods, drawing on extensive fieldwork.

Additional information

Weight 0.8 kg