Religion / East Asia

Shamans, nuns and judges: the lives of Asia’s female religious leaders

by Nursheila Muez

Many of history’s most influential religious leaders — Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Gautama Buddha, Adi Shankara, and Confucius — are men. Is this gender imbalance an inherent flaw of religion itself? And is the rising trend of women in Asia taking on religious leadership positions part of a new phenomenon propelled by the global feminist movement?