The Gender of Charisma: Notes from a Taiwanese Buddhist Transnational NGO

  • C. Julia Huang-Lemmon
Part of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion book series (CAR)

Abstract

In 1997, at the beginning of the end-of-the-year convocation of volunteers at the Taipei branch of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi (Ciji) Foundation, a young emcee in staff uniform asked the full house of 700 mainly middle-aged women: “Why do you volunteer for Compassion Relief?” There was a brief silence, then slowly an answer was sounded by diffident yet distinct female voices from different corners of the auditorium: “[Because we] love the supreme person (ai shangren).” Blushing, the emcee smiled and in a schoolteacher-like tone said: “Oh. Of course, we all love the supreme master. But we volunteer for Compassion Relief because we are shanxin dashi (benevolent persons). We are here because of da’ai (great love, universal love).”

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Copyright information

© Charles Lindholm 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Julia Huang-Lemmon

There are no affiliations available

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