The ambit of Buddhist studies reflects not only the spiritual and philosophical domain of Buddhism but also a symbiotic relationship between the monastic establishment and protectors of cultural tradition-a trend that one sees in the context of Buddhist revivalist projects in Mongolia and Buryatia. The presence of a Buddhist order in the political realm has revived intellectual debates about the relationship between spiritual and temporal authority. The interface between South Asian and South East Buddhism on the one hand and Central Asian Buddhism on the other is also delicately balanced in Buddhist cultural discourse. The relevance of Buddhism in a globalized world has also given a new direction to the realm of Buddhist studies.
This book takes into account the competing discourses of preservation and revival of Buddhism in the trans-Himalayan sector. It not only deals with the cultural ethos that Buddhism represents in this region but also the diverse Buddhist traditions that are strongly entrenched despite colonial intervention. Juxtaposed to the aesthetic variant is the extremely sensitive response of the Buddhist communities in India and Asiatic Russia centred round the issue of displacement. It is this issue of duality of common traditions and fractured identities that has been dealt with in the present volume.
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Table of Contents
1. Construction of Buddhist Civilisation in Central Asia: A Preliminary Review 2. Buddhist Traditions of the Himalayas and Central Asia 3. Buddhist Milieu in Termez: Links in Architecture and Archaeology 4. The Integration of Buddhism in Mongolia: The Echo of Seasonal Moods 5. Heritage, Development, and Concerns of Mongolia’s Monasteries 6. Medical Institution Building in India: Following the Tibetan Case 7. Tibetan Culture in Exile: Preservation and Reform
Suchandana Chatterjee is a Fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata. She has been associated with the institute since 1993.