The Navel of the Demoness: Tibetan Buddhism and Civil Religion in Highland Nepal

The Navel of the Demoness: Tibetan Buddhism and Civil Religion in Highland Nepal

by Charles Ramble
     
 

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This groundbreaking study focuses on a village called Te in a "Tibetanized" region of northern Nepal.See more details below

Overview

This groundbreaking study focuses on a village called Te in a "Tibetanized" region of northern Nepal.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This study brilliantly illuminates the much discussed conflict of Tibetan Buddhism and 'pre-Buddhist' religious practices of territorial gods and sacrifice by creatively analyzing them as elements integrated into a broader civil religion guiding lives and society in local communities in the Nepalese highlands. Anyone interested in the fabric of communities and Tibetan Buddhism will find it essential reading." —David Germano, Associate Professor of Tibetan Studies, University of Virginia

"Charles Ramble's book should become a classic, as a brilliant example of how a meticulous ethnography can address the most fundamental issues of anthropology, in this case: what creates the magic of society, what provides institutions with their spurious yet persuasive objectivity and impersonality? With extreme attention to the detail of social interaction, Ramble provides a fascinating account of this process in the limiting case of an extremely small and isolated group. It demonstrates how traditional political and economic institutions are manipulated by the Tepas but also constrain them, in their pragmatic use of foreign religion and local cults." —Pascal Boyer, author of Tradition as Truth and Communication and The Naturalness of Religious Ideas

"There are ethnographies and then are ethnographies. The Navel of the Demonness is a first-rate and pathbreaking comparative ethnography of the people of Te and other communities that lie nestled among the mountains of Upper Mustang, along Nepal's border with Tibet... Happily combining fieldwork with information culled from especially indigenous archival documents, Charles Ramble has succeeded in writing both a synchronic and a diachronic cultural ethnography of the area. Moreover, he has done so using a diction that is as refreshingly lucid as it is informed by his obviously profound learning. As such, his study is free from the obfuscating jargon that so often accompanies superficiality. I dare say, The Navel of the Demonness is one of the best books on Nepalese and Tibetan anthropology to appear in years." —Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Harvard University

"This study brilliantly illuminates the much discussed conflict of Tibetan Buddhism and 'pre-Buddhist' religious practices of territorial gods and sacrifice by creatively analyzing them as elements integrated into a broader civil religion guiding lives and society in local communities in the Nepalese highlands. Anyone interested in the fabric of communities and Tibetan Buddhism will find it essential reading." —David Germano, Associate Professor of Tibetan Studies, University of Virginia

"Charles Ramble's book should become a classic, as a brilliant example of how a meticulous ethnography can address the most fundamental issues of anthropology, in this case: what creates the magic of society, what provides institutions with their spurious yet persuasive objectivity and impersonality? With extreme attention to the detail of social interaction, Ramble provides a fascinating account of this process in the limiting case of an extremely small and isolated group. It demonstrates how traditional political and economic institutions are manipulated by the Tepas but also constrain them, in their pragmatic use of foreign religion and local cults." —Pascal Boyer, author of Tradition as Truth and Communication and The Naturalness of Religious Ideas

"There are ethnographies and then are ethnographies. The Navel of the Demonness is a first-rate and pathbreaking comparative ethnography of the people of Te and other communities that lie nestled among the mountains of Upper Mustang, along Nepal's border with Tibet... Happily combining fieldwork with information culled from especially indigenous archival documents, Charles Ramble has succeeded in writing both a synchronic and a diachronic cultural ethnography of the area. Moreover, he has done so using a diction that is as refreshingly lucid as it is informed by his obviously profound learning. As such, his study is free from the obfuscating jargon that so often accompanies superficiality. I dare say, The Navel of the Demonness is one of the best books on Nepalese and Tibetan anthropology to appear in years." —Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Harvard University

"This book should be on the reading list of any graduate course on Tibetan or Himalayan societies and religion, and provides for a most thoroughly enjoyable read for a much larger audience."—Religion

"With a powerful and well-wrought conclusion that brings the book to a close, this excellent monograph can be read in its entirety or as a series of discrete lectures on the civil, religious, and psychological frames that shape Tibetan culture." —The Journal of Asian Studies

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198035084
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/10/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

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