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MTSP Book Launch: Lineages of the Literary: Tibetan Buddhist Polymaths of Socialist China (Columbia University Press, 2021) - author Nicole Willock in conversation with Gray Tuttle
Nicole Willock (Ph.D. in Tibetan Studies and Religious Studies, Indiana University) is an associate professor of Asian Religions at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Her research examines the intersections between Tibetan literature, Buddhist modernism, moral agency, and state-driven secularization projects in twentieth-century China. She serves as co-chair of the Tibet and Himalayan Religions Unit of the American Academy of Religion.

Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies at Columbia University and author of ​​Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China (CUP, 2007), will serve as moderator and discussant.

In the aftermath of the cataclysmic Maoist period, three Tibetan Buddhist scholars living and working in the People’s Republic of China became intellectual heroes. Renowned as the “Three Polymaths,” Tséten Zhabdrung (1910–1985), Mugé Samten (1914–1993), and Dungkar Lozang Trinlé (1927–1997) earned this symbolic title for their efforts to keep the lamp of the Dharma lit even in the darkest hour of Tibetan history.

Lineages of the Literary reveals how the Three Polymaths negotiated the political tides of the twentieth century, shedding new light on Sino-Tibetan relations and Buddhism during this turbulent era. An interdisciplinary work spanning religious studies, history, literary studies, and social theory, Lineages of the Literary offers new insight into the categories of religion and the secular, the role of Tibetan Buddhist leaders in modern China, and the contested ground of Tibet.

Oct 15, 2021 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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