Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture
By (author) Ronald M. Davidson
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Tibetan Renaissance by Ronald M. Davidson
Book DescriptionHow did a society on the edge of collapse and dominated by wandering bands of armed men give way to a vibrant Buddhist culture, led by yogins and scholars? Ronald M. Davidson explores how the translation and spread of esoteric Buddhist texts dramatically shaped Tibetan society and led to its rise as the center of Buddhist culture throughout Asia, replacing India as the perceived source of religious ideology and tradition. During the Tibetan Renaissance (950-1200 C.E.), monks and yogins translated an enormous number of Indian Buddhist texts. They employed the evolving literature and practices of esoteric Buddhism as the basis to reconstruct Tibetan religious, cultural, and political institutions. Many translators achieved the de facto status of feudal lords and while not always loyal to their Buddhist vows, these figures helped solidify political power in the hands of religious authorities and began a process that led to the Dalai Lama's theocracy. Davidson's vivid portraits of the monks, priests, popular preachers, yogins, and aristocratic clans who changed Tibetan society and culture further enhance his perspectives on the tensions and transformations that characterized medieval Tibet.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231134712
(235mm x 155mm x 32mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 26-Aug-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Ronald M. Davidson
Indian Esoteric Buddhism, Paperback (November 2002)» View all books by Ronald M. Davidson
Drawing on primary documents, this work describes the historical origins of the Tantric movement in early medieval India. It shows how changes in medieval Indian society led to the rise of the esoteric tradition in India that became the model for Buddhist cultures in China, Tibet and Japan.
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Author Biography - Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is professor of religious studies at Fairfield University. He is the author of Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement (Columbia) and the coeditor (with Steven D. Goodman) of Tibetan Buddhism: Reason and Revelation.
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