Matthew T. Kapstein is Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago and Director of Tibetan Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. His recent publications include The Presence of Light (2004), Reason’s Traces (2001), The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism (2000) and Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet (1998).
Tibetans / Edition 1by Matthew T. Kapstein
"In the past, for largely geographical reasons, Tibet was isolated from the rest of the world, which meant that our country, people and culture were not only shrouded in mystery, but often gravely misunderstood. More recently, as interest has grown, scholarship concerning Tibet has improved beyond expectation, although it has often singled out narrow topics for… See more details below
"In the past, for largely geographical reasons, Tibet was isolated from the rest of the world, which meant that our country, people and culture were not only shrouded in mystery, but often gravely misunderstood. More recently, as interest has grown, scholarship concerning Tibet has improved beyond expectation, although it has often singled out narrow topics for consideration. In producing this substantial book, which takes a broad view of Tibetans and their civilization, within a long historical perspective, Matthew Kapstein has brought to his work the authority and clarity he has acquired through many years of friendship with and observation of the people of the Land of Snow."
—His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Interest in Tibet has developed very rapidly during the past several decades, and numerous texts, artifacts, and records of life in Tibetan communities are now readily available to researchers. The Tibetans provides a comprehensive introduction to this intriguing land, orienting the reader to the Tibetan geographical region and its inhabitants. Topics treated here include Tibetan religious and political history, together with major aspects of Tibetan culture: social institutions, religious and philosophical traditions, literature and the arts. A concluding chapter discusses the fragile position of Tibetan civilization in the modern world, surveying events that have transpired since Tibet’s incorporation into the People’s Republic of China.
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Table of Contents
List of Photographs.
List of Maps.
A Note on Transcription and Translation.
1. The Vessel and Its Contents.
High Peaks, Pure Earth.
Peasants, Nomads, and Traders.
The Tibetan Language.
2. Prehistory and Early Legends.
Sources of Archeological Evidence.
Children of the Ape and the Ogress.
Tibetan Religion Before Buddhism.
3. The Tsenpo's Imperial Dominion.
The Rise of the Tibetan Empire.
Later Monarchs and the Promotion of Buddhism.
The Empire's Implosion.
4. Fragmentation and Hegemonic Power.
Dynastic Successors and the Kingdom of Gugé.
The Buddhist Renaissance.
Mongols and Tibetan Buddhists.
Tibetan Buddhism and the Ming Court.
5. The Rule of the Dalai Lamas.
Monastics and Monarchs.
Between Mongols and Manchus.
Regency and Retreat.
Cultural Developments in Eastern Tibet.
The Life and Times of the Great Thirteenth.
6. Tibetan Society.
Property, Economy, and Social Class.
Government and Law.
Marriage and Kinship.
Women in Traditional Tibet.
7. Religious Life and Thought.
Propitiation, Therapy, and the Life-cycle.
Monastic Institutions and Education.
Tantrism and Yoga.
Major Orders and Schools.
Festivals, Pilgrimages, and Ritual Cycles.
8. The Sites of Knowledge.
The Speech Goddess's Mirror.
Formations of Body, Speech, and Mind.
Medicine, Astronomy, and the Divinatory Sciences.
9. Tibet in the Modern World.
The End of Traditional Tibet.
Rebellion and Exile.
The Promise and Peril of a Century's End.
Spellings of Tibetan Names and Terms.
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