Envisioning a Tibetan Luminary: The Life of a Modern Boenpo Saint
William M. Gorvine (Author)
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Envisioning a Tibetan Luminary examines the religious biography of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859-1934), the most significant modern figure representing the Tibetan Boen religion-a vital minority tradition that is underrepresented in Tibetan studies. The work is based on fieldwork conducted in eastern Tibet and in the Boen exile community in India, where traditional Tibetan scholars collaborated closely on the project. Utilizing close readings of two versions of Shardza's life-story, along with oral history collected in Boen communities, this book presents and interprets the biographical image of this major figure, culminating with an English translation of his life story. William M. Gorvine argues that the disciple-biographer's literary portrait not only enacts and shapes religious ideals to foster faith among its readership, but also attempts to quell tensions that had developed among his original audience. Among the Boen community today, Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen has come to be unequivocally revered for an impressive textual legacy and a saintly death. During his lifetime, however, he faced prominent critics within his own lineage who went so far as to issue polemical attacks against him. As Gorvine shows, the biographical texts that inform us about Shardza's life are best understood when read on multiple registers, with attention given to the ways in which the religious ideals on display reflect the broader literary, cultural, and historical contexts within which they were envisioned and articulated.
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About the Author
William M. Gorvine is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Hendrix College. His research explores religious biography, conceptions of saintliness, and the Tibetan Boen religion, while his teaching and professional work support interdisciplinary approaches to Asian studies, contemplative pedagogy, andreligious literacy.
- Contributor: William M. Gorvine
- Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
- ISBN13: 9780199362349
- Number of Pages: 328
- Packaged Dimensions: 163x243x24mm
- Packaged Weight: 584
- Format: Hardback
- Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
- Release Date: 2019-01-10
- Binding: Hardback
- Biography: William M. Gorvine is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Hendrix College. His research explores religious biography, conceptions of saintliness, and the Tibetan Boen religion, while his teaching and professional work support interdisciplinary approaches to Asian studies, contemplative pedagogy, andreligious literacy.