Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhism: New Trajectories in the 20th–21st Centuries


Pilgrimage as a Path to Faith: An Essay on a Social Construction of Religiosity

The article is devoted to pilgrimage and represents an anthropological interview with the researcher’s comments. The interview was recorded on April 2019, in Elista, at the religious community of the Temple “Golden Abode of Shakyamuni Buddha”. The narrative shows how a pilgrimage to India is perceived by Kalmykia’s believers as a means of coping with life’s hurdles and of searching for its new meaning.

The “White Faith” Movement in the Mountain Altai: Tibetan Buddhism, Mongolia, and the Oirot Prophecy, 1880s–1920sThis paper explores the influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the development

of Ak-Jang (White Faith or Burkhanism), an ethno-religious movement that sprang up in the Mountain Altai in the early twentieth century. It is emphasized that a large part of the “White Faith” pantheon and spiritual practices originated from Tibetan Buddhism that was coming from Mongolia. The article is particularly focused on the links between the messianism of the White Faith and ethno-religious messianic movement Amursana that developed in Western Mongolia from 1910 to 1923.

«There Will Not Be a Dignified Life Without a Flock of Sheep»: Negotiating Religion in the Context of Socially Engaged Buddhism in Buryatia

The article looks at the Social Flock (sotsial’naia otara) project whereby the sangha gives sheep to laypeople and other locals as a kind of socially engaged Buddhism in Buryatia. It places the Social Flock project into a broader context of moral economy in the region, where through various acts of help, support and other kinds of giving the sangha establishes itself as a “pillar” of society. The article also critically discusses the very concept of socially engaged Buddhism.

Mongolian Buddhism in the Twenty-First Century: Under Construction

The article considers Buddhism in modern Mongolia in the context of the world of Tibetan Buddhism. The peculiarity of Buddhism in modern Mongolia lies in the simultaneous coexistence of different models and interpretations of Buddhism. The “socialist” model is the result of the transformations during the period of the People’s Republic of Mongolia: Buddhism is seen as a part of the cultural and national heritage, and the Hambo-lama is recognized as head of the Sangha.

Buddhist Revival and Buddhist Community Construction in Contemporary Buryatia

The current development of Buddhism in Buryatia is often characterized by the term “revival”. The leadership of Buriat Buddhists, Pandito Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheev and his circle, played the central role in the ideological construction of this revived tradition. The activities of the “Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia” (BTSR) are not limited to the religious sphere and cover a variety of aspects of the socio-political and economic life of Buryatia. BTSR is often opposed by other Buddhist organizations and groups.

The Reception of Buddhism in Russia and the “Russian Asiaphiles” in the Late 19th — early 20th Century

The article discusses the main factors and trends of Buddhism’s reception in Russia. The author highlights both internal sociocultural and religious interest within the Russian intelligentsia, and the interest to cultures of India, Tibet and China in the context of the political events of the time.

Avalokiteśvara Cult and Competing Nationalisms of the Sino-Tibetan Borderland

The article discusses the emergence of Tibetan nationalism in Sino-Tibetan borderland in the period after the fall of the Qing Empire in 1911 and untill the incorporation of Tibet into the PRC in 1951. It argues that the cult of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteśvara was a key spiritual root of the Tibetan religious nationalism, associating Tibet with the state of the Dalai Lamas.

Buddhism in the Modern Age: Introduction

No. 1 (38) 2020