It is with sadness that we relay the news that world-renowned feminist-Buddhist scholar and practitioner Rita M. Gross passed from this life on Nov. 11, 2015 at her home in hospice care. She had a severe stroke in late October, but did not appear to suffer. Lopon Rita asked that her ashes be sprinkled into the Lotus Pond at Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche's retreat center in central Virginia, Lotus Garden.
|Rita M. Gross|
The contributions that Rita has made are impossible to underestimate. As an academic, Dharma teacher, advocate and community builder, Rita has touched many lives with her work. Rita is one of six senior teachers at Lotus Garden who were appointed by Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche. Rita has also been a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Rita's Buddhist teachings have been non-sectarian and she has taught for both Zen and Vipassana centers in addition to her work in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She has been a founder and leader in the field of feminist studies in religion and has done groundbreaking work on women in Buddhism. In addition, she has focused on the theology of religious diversity and interreligious exchange, and has offered a variety of solo or co-taught workshops on this topic for seminaries and religious institutions. Rita helped to build the Society for Buddhist Christian Studies and co-edited their journal for more than a decade.
Rita’s approach has been a rare combination of academic and Dharmic perspectives. Her warm, humorous, and very clear teachings have reached thousands of highly appreciative students.
Some of her works include:
Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism.
Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993.
Religious Feminism and the Future of the Planet: A Buddhist-Christian-Feminist Conversation.
(with Rosemary Radford Ruether)
New York: Continuum, 2001.
A Garland of Feminist Reflections: Forty Years of Religious Reflection.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009.
Religious Diversity--What's the Problem? Buddhist Advice for Flourishing with Religious Diversity.
Cascade Books, Wipf and Stock, 2014
How Clinging to Gender Identity Subverts Enlightenment
Shambhala Publications. (forthcoming)
For more information on Rita's life work please visit her website.You can also read more about Lopon Rita on Lion's Roar and Tricycle.