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Book Chapter

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Buddhist Studies | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Throughout Buddhist history, women practitioners have been models of leadership in virtuous conduct, meditation, discipline, teaching, spiritual experience, and other religious achievements. The roles women have played were not necessarily in line with contemporary expectations of religious leadership, however. Most did not hold official office, give public teachings, lead religious ceremonies, or publish extensively. Most were not prominent in temple building, institutional administration, or educational leadership. Almost none of them held positions in religious institutions and only a few were recognized for their achievements. In fact, women’s most visible religious activities often centered around supporting the religious practice of other practitioners, mostly male. In doing so, these women followed the model of Visakha, a prominent Buddhist laywomen during the Buddha’s time who was renowned and highly respected for her honesty and her generosity toward the monastic community. By putting into practice some of the key values the Buddha taught – generosity, loving kindness, compassion, honesty, diligence, and humility – these women followed the Buddha’s own model of religious leadership (Tsomo 2010).


Table of Contents

Chapter PART I:

Chapter 1: The U.S. Mainline Protestant Context

Chapter 2: The African American Context

Chapter 3: Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Megachurch Movements

Chapter 4: The Jewish Context: American Jewish Leadership

Chapter 5: Roman Catholic Trends

Chapter 6: Emerging Paradigms of Catholic Leadership

Chapter 7: Catholic Multicultural Trends

Chapter 8: Islamic Leadership in America

Chapter 9: The Asian Religious Context: Focus on Hinduism

Chapter 10: Religious Leadership in the Latino/Latina Community: Leadership as Service

Chapter PART II:

Chapter 11: Pastoral Leadership in Mainline Protestant Churches

Chapter 12: Innovations in Mainline Protestant Leadership

Chapter 13: The Evangelical Leader

Chapter 14: The Pentecostal Leader

Chapter 15: Missional Leadership

Chapter 16: The Roman Catholic Lay Leader

Chapter 17: Roman Catholic Ordained Leadership

Chapter 18: Christian Biblical Understandings of Leadership

Chapter 19: Understanding Jewish Biblical Leadership

Chapter 20: Qur’anic Leadership Bases: Prophets as Visionary Leaders in Challenging Times

Chapter 21: African American Islamic Leadership

Chapter 22: Muslim Leadership in the U.S. Context

Chapter 23: Rabbinic Leadership and the Future of the American Jewish Community

Chapter 24: Leadership Language for the Reform Rabbinate

Chapter 25: Leadership Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Chapter 26: Leading Historically Black Church Congregations

Chapter 27: Leading Black Baptist Churches

Chapter 28: Native American Leadership

Chapter 29: Latin American Congregational Leadership

Chapter 30: Hawaiian Religious Leadership

Chapter 31: Leadership in a New Church

Chapter 32: Buddhist Leadership in the United States

Chapter 33: Women Leaders in Evangelical Congregations

Chapter 34: Pentecostal Female Pastors

Chapter 35: Women Leaders in Mainline Protestant Churches

Chapter 36: Women Leaders in Asian American Protestant Churches

Chapter 37: Buddhist Women and Religious Leadership

Chapter 38: Modern and Contemporary Trends in Muslim Women’s Leadership

Chapter 39: African American Women Leaders

Chapter 40: Women Leaders in Judaism

Chapter 41: Roman Catholic Women Leaders: “By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them”

Chapter PART III:

Chapter 42: The Common Good

Chapter 43: Spirit-Inspired Leadership and the Common Good Worldview

Chapter 44: Catholic Leadership for Global Citizenship

Chapter 45: Women Religious for Social Justice

Chapter 46: Religious Leaders Who Have Advocated and Engaged in Violence

Chapter PART IV:

Chapter 47: Christian Leadership for Multicultural Inclusion

Chapter 48: Leadership for Reconciliation

Chapter 49: Religious Leadership for Social Change

Chapter 50: Gender, Identity, and Inclusive Leadership

Chapter 51: Jewish Leadership for Interreligious Dialogue

Chapter 52: Asian Participation in Interreligious Dialogue

Chapter 53: Muslim Leadership for Social Action

Chapter 54: American Jewish World Service

Chapter 55: Sojourners

Chapter 56: Leading Evangelicals for Social Action

Chapter 57: Building Peace: Religious Leadership in Divided Communities

Chapter 58: The Salvation Army

Chapter 59: Religious Leadership in the Catholic Peace Movement

Chapter 60: World Vision

Chapter 61: Catholic Relief Services: Fostering Integral Human Development Through Charity in Truth

Chapter 62: Islamic Relief

Chapter 63: Leadership by the Deaf Community for Social Change

Chapter 64: Christian Leadership Toward Sustainable Earth-Human Relations

Chapter 65: The Jewish Response to Environmental Action

Chapter 66: Islamic Leadership for Sustainability

Chapter 67: Zen Buddhist Ecological Leadership: Just Teach the Withered Trees to Bloom

Chapter 68: Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Chapter 69: Archbishop Oscar Romero: The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life for His Sheep

Chapter 70: Howard Thurman: Intercultural and Interreligious Leader

Chapter 71: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Chapter 72: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: Prophetic Leadership Confronts the 20th Century

Chapter 73: Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

Chapter 74: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise

Chapter 75: The Orthodox Rabbinate and Interfaith Dialogue

Chapter 76: Dalai Lama

Chapter 77: Thich Nhat Hanh

Chapter 78: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Model for Religious Leadership in the 21st Century

Chapter 79: Very Reverend Sang Chul Lee: A Legacy of Justice and Hospitality

Chapter 80: Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen Movement

Chapter 81: Elijah Muhammad

Chapter 82: Dorothy Day: Leader of the Catholic Worker Movement

Chapter 83: Karen Armstrong: A Journey Toward God

Chapter 84: Imam Warith Deen Mohammed

Chapter 85: Mary Baker Eddy: Leadership and Spiritual Practice

Chapter PART V:

Chapter 86: General Trends and Emerging Models Across Christian Denominations

Chapter 87: Forming Interreligious and Intercultural Leaders

Chapter 88: Formation of Christian Leaders: Forming Faithful and Just Actions for the Sake of the World

Chapter 89: Leadership Development in the American Jewish Community

Chapter 90: Formation and Education of Muslim Leaders

Chapter 91: Educating and Forming Latino/Latina Populations for Leadership in the Christian Church

Chapter 92: Forming Asian Leaders for North American Churches

Chapter PART VI:

Chapter 93: Mystics as Reformers

Chapter 94: New Forms of Evangelical Leadership

Chapter 95: Postcolonial Insights for Religious Leadership

Chapter 96: Islamic Reformers in North America

Chapter 97: Roman Catholic Reformers


Originally published in Religious Leadership: A Reference Handbook, Edited by Sharon Callahan. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2013, pp. 302–308.