Tibetan Buddhist Leadership: Recent Developments in Historical Context

  • Bruce M. Knauft


In the study of religious politics, taking seriously the spiritual values and motivations of leaders is both important and problematic. On the one hand is the risk of neglecting or misunderstanding the spiritual infrastructure from which religious politics emerge. On the other hand is the risk of bias by taking too seriously the stated values and beliefs of religious actors. Against these alternatives, the present account accepts, as is basic in cultural anthropology, that subjective realities are one important dimension, among others, to consider in relation to the practical results of action. This chapter hence complements rather than takes at face value the suggestion that Buddhist religious values are not particularly significant in the academic study of Tibetan Buddhist politics.


Ethical Leader Historical Context Cultural History Spiritual Leader Chinese Authority 
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© Bruce M. Knauft 2016

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  • Bruce M. Knauft

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