Tibetan Buddhism among Han Chinese, by Joshua Esler

Hardcover, 270 pages, some bw illustrations, London 2020, new

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While Tibetan Buddhism continues to face restrictions and challenges imposed by the state in contemporary China, it has in fact entered mainstream Chinese society with a growing middle-class and even celebrity following at the same time. In Tibetan Buddhism among Han Chinese: Mediation and Superscription of the Tibetan Tradition in Contemporary Chinese Society (Lexington Books, 2020), Dr. Joshua Esler sheds light on this recent development in Sino-Tibetan Buddhism that is gaining increasing momentum in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Drawing from more than eighty interviews with diverse interlocutors such as Tibetan Buddhist teachers, Han practitioners, and lay Tibetans, Dr. Esler shows how Tibetan Buddhism has been “superscribed” with new religious meanings and “re-mandalized” to include regions outside of geographical Tibet. Joshua Esler is a lecturer and researcher in Asian Studies at Sheridan College, Perth, Australia.

Daigengna Duoer is a PhD student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation researches on transnational and transregional Buddhist networks connecting twentieth-century Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Republican China, Tibet, and the Japanese Empire.

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