High Religion: A Cultural and Political History of Sherpa Buddhism

High Religion: A Cultural and Political History of Sherpa Buddhism

by Sherry B. Ortner

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Overview

An eminent anthropologist examines the foundings of the first celibate Buddhist monasteries among the Sherpas of Nepal in the early twentieth century--a religious development that was a major departure from "folk" or "popular" Buddhism. Sherry Ortner is the first to integrate social scientific and historical modes of analysis in a study of the Sherpa monasteries and one of the very few to attempt such an account for Buddhist monasteries anywhere. Combining ethnographic and oral-historical methods, she scrutinizes the interplay of political and cultural factors in the events culminating in the foundings. Her work constitutes a major advance both in our knowledge of Sherpa Buddhism and in the integration of anthropological and historical modes of analysis.

At the theoretical level, the book contributes to an emerging theory of "practice," an explanation of the relationship between human intentions and actions on the one hand, and the structures of society and culture that emerge from and feed back upon those intentions and actions on the other. It will appeal not only to the increasing number of anthropologists working on similar problems but also to historians anxious to discover what anthropology has to offer to historical analysis. In addition, it will be essential reading for those interested in Nepal, Tibet, the Sherpa, or Buddhism in general.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691028439
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 09/21/1989
Series: Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 269
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsix
AcknowledgmentsXi
Note to the Readerxiii
Chapter 1.Beginning3
Chapter 2.Sahibs26
Chapter 3.Sherpas56
Chapter 4.Monks90
Chapter 5.Death124
Chapter 6.Men149
Chapter 7.Counterculture185
Chapter 8.Women217
Chapter 9.Reconfigurations248
Chapter 10.Epilogue281
Appendix A.Tales295
Appendix B.Monasteries307
Notes319
References Cited355
Index369

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