Department of Religious Studies

"Whose 'Religion'? Transforming the Religious Field in 17th-Century Mongolia"

A Lecture by Karénina Kollmar-Paulenz (University of Berne, Switzerland)

Wed, April 15, 2009 | BUR 436A

12:15 PM - 2:00 PM

This lecture deals with the transformation of the religious field in 16th and 17th-century Mongolia, focusing (1) on the strategies the Tibetan Buddhist monks employed to win over the Mongols to Buddhist practices, and (2) on the discourse formations which accompanied this process on the analytical level. This lecture argues that the encounter between shamanic and Buddhist religious specialists in a shared religious field led to the creation of a religious “other” and to the reification of a böge-ner-ün sasin, a “teaching of the shamans.” This most likely influenced European Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment discourses on “shamanism.”

Karénina Kollmar-Paulenz is professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Berne, Switzerland. Her areas of interest include the religious and cultural history of Tibet and Mongolia, canon formation in Buddhism, and theories of religion. She currently serves as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at her university.

Sponsored by: Department of Religious Studies; Department of Asian Studies; South Asia Institute

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