Rita Gross

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Rita Gross
Rita Gross speaking
Speaking at an international conference in Germany
Born 1943 (age 71–72)[1]
Occupation retired
Nationality United States of America
Citizenship United States of America
Alma mater University of Chicago
Subject Theology

Rita Gross (born 1943) is an American Buddhist feminist theologian and author.[2]  Before retiring, she was Professor of Comparative Studies in Religion at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.[3][4]

In 1974 Gross was named the head of Women and Religion, a newly created section of the American Academy of Religion.[5] She earned her PhD in 1975 from the University of Chicago in History of Religions, with the dissertation "Exclusion and Participation: The Role of Women in Aboriginal Australian Religion."[6][7]  This was the first dissertation ever on women's studies in religion.[5]  In 1976 she published the article "Female God Language in a Jewish Context" (Davka Magazine 17), which Jewish scholar and feminist Judith Plaskow considers "probably the first article to deal theoretically with the issue of female God-language in a Jewish context".[8][9]  Gross was Jewish herself at this time.[10]

In 1977 Gross took refuge with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, becoming a Tibetan Buddhist.[11][12]  In 2005 she was made a lopön (senior teacher) by Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, and she now teaches at Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche's Lotus Garden Center, located in the United States.[3][13]

Books written by Gross[edit]

  • Religious Diversity—What's the Problem? Buddhist Suggestions for Flourishing with Religious Diversity (forthcoming)
  • A Garland of Feminist Reflections: Forty Years of Religious Reflection, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009.
  • Religious Feminism and the Future of the Planet: A Buddhist-Christian-Feminist Conversation (with Rosemary Radford Ruether), New York: Continuum, 2001.
  • Soaring and Settling: Buddhist Perspectives on Contemporary Social and Religious Issues, New York: Continuum, 1998.
  • Feminism and Religion: An Introduction; Boston: Beacon Press, 1996; Korean translation, 1999; Chapter One “Defining Feminism, Religion, and the Study of Religion” reprinted in Theory and Method in the Study of Religion, ed. by Carl Olson (Belmont, CA:Wadsworth, 2004), pp. 511–20
  • Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism; Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993; Spanish translation, Editorial Trotta, Madrid, Spain, 2005.[14]

Books edited by Gross[edit]

  • Editor (with Terry Muck):  Christians Talk About Buddhist Meditation: Buddhists Talk About Christian Prayer; New York: Continuum, 2003.
  • Editor (with Terry Muck):  Buddhists Talk About Jesus: Christians Talk About the Buddha; New York: Continuum, 2000.
  • Editor (with Nancy A. Falk):  Unspoken Worlds: Women's Religious Lives; Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Press, 1989; Third Edition, Wadsworth Press, 2001; Translated into French as La Religion Par Les Femmes, Edition Labor et Fides, 1993.
  • Editor (with Nancy A. Falk):  Unspoken Worlds: Women's Religious Lives in Non-Western Cultures; San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980;
  • Editor:  Beyond Androcentrism: New Essays on Women and Religion; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1977[14]


  1. ^ Robert S. Ellwood, Gregory D. Alles (2006). The encyclopedia of world religions. Infobase Publishing. p. 148. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  2. ^ E. J. van Wolde (2000). The Bright side of life. SCM Press. p. 49. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Peter A. Huff, ed. (Spring 2011). "News of the Society". Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies Newsletter 47. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Gross, Rita M. (2009). A garland of feminist reflections : forty years of religious exploration. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25585-2. 
  5. ^ a b Lowe, Barbara J. (22 September 2006). Feminists who changed America, 1963-1975. University of Illinois Press. p. 190. 
  6. ^ Rita M. Gross (1975). "Exclusion and participation : the role of women in aboriginal Australian religion". University of Chicago. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Arvind Sharma (1994). Today's Woman in World Religions. SUNY Press. p. 459. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jewish Feminist Theology: A Survey". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  9. ^ "Standing at Sinai". Dhushara.com. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  10. ^ Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah: New Insights and Scholarship - Frederick Greenspahn - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  11. ^ Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America - Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Marie Cantlon - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  12. ^ "Something Important". Tricycle. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  13. ^ "Lopön Rita Gross". Lotusgardens.org. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  14. ^ a b "Books". Rita M. Gross. Retrieved 2012-07-17.