China seminar 4 June: Alliances and strategic networks: Tibetan Buddhist lamas and the Qing court

China seminar

June 4, 2014, 15:15 —— Arsenaal, room 001

Yangdon Dhondup (SOAS)

Alliances and strategic networks: Tibetan Buddhist lamas and the Qing court

The relationship between the Manchu court and Tibetan Buddhists was based on the “patron-priest” model. The emperor acted as the patron and protector of Tibetan Buddhism in exchange for religious advice and guidance by Buddhist Lamas. Whether genuinely believing in Tibetan Buddhism or motivated by geopolitical considerations, the Manchu emperors were generous patrons of Tibetan Buddhism. In this presenta¬tion, I look at how Tibetan Buddhists from east Tibet tried to establish a “patron-priest” relationship with the Manchu court and explore their motivation for doing so.

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