Carmen Meinert, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen

Moving Between Worldly Power and Other-Wordly Attainments
Encounters of Ethnic Chinese with Tibetan Buddhism

Parallel to the present grand scale modernisation process of Chinese society is noteworthy the rediscovery of all sorts of religious beliefs and practices – ranging from Western to other Asian as well as to indigenous belief systems. With regard to the revival of Buddhism in China, which has itself a history of more than 1500 years in China, the exceptional development of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism among ethnic Chinese since the 1990s is of particular interest. Its study does not only allow for the Chinese reception of another Asian belief system, yet also allows for a case study of a reception process of a religion that has developed both, practices for inner-worldly power as well as for other-worldly attainments. Various examples of this Sino-Tibetan interchange throughout history demonstrate the tasks and difficulties of ethnic Chinese of coming to grips with the transcendental dimension of Tantric Buddhism. Moreover, it reveals unexpected insight into the Chinese perception of the self and the other.

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