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Common Ground: Tibetan Buddhist Expansion and Qing China's Inner Asia (Paperback)
By: Lan Wu

Common Ground: Tibetan Buddhist Expansion and Qing China's Inner Asia


 
Our Price: $35.00
Author: Lan Wu
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780231206167
Publication Date: July 2022

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Product Code: 9780231206174
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Description About the author Contents
 
"Historian Lan Wu explores the interdependency and entanglement of two expanding powers in the area known today as China. In the mid-seventeenth century, Qing-dynasty China (1644-1911) and the Dalai Lama-led Buddhist government of the Ganden Podrang (1642-1959) came into contact. Their interactions have shaped geopolitical history in China ever since. Their entwined histories launched long-standing struggles that modern Chinese states have had to face in terms of political legitimacy, equivocal nationalist rhetoric, and the astonishing power that religious institutions have amassed. Drawing on textual sources in four languages as well as on visual art, Common Ground considers the contours of China and Tibet's interaction beyond an exclusive focus on the driven state administration. The story of the Qing's imperial encounter is inseparable from its efforts to both promote and circumscribe Tibetan Buddhist knowledge assemblages. These efforts included people, ideas, objects, and practices. Buddhist knowledge production and circulation formed a cross-cultural knowledge network, which provided institutional, pragmatic, and intellectual common ground for both polities. Their entangled history produced a Qing empire full of vitality but fraught with predicaments, a situation with repercussions felt to this day"--

The Qing empire and the Dalai Lama-led Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism came into contact in the eighteenth century. Their interconnections would shape regional politics and the geopolitical history of Inner Asia for centuries to come. In Common Ground, Lan Wu analyzes how Tibetan Buddhists and the Qing imperial rulers interacted and negotiated as both sought strategies to expand their influence in eighteenth-century Inner Asia. In so doing, she recasts the Qing empire, seeing it not as a monolithic project of imperial administration but as a series of encounters among different communities.

Wu examines a series of interconnected sites in the Qing empire where the influence of Tibetan Buddhism played a key role, tracing the movement of objects, flows of peoples, and circulation of ideas in the space between China and Tibet. She identifies a transregional Tibetan Buddhist knowledge network, which provided institutional, pragmatic, and intellectual common ground for both polities. Wu draws out the voices of lesser-known Tibetan Buddhists, whose writings and experiences evince an alternative Buddhist space beyond the state. She highlights interactions between Mongols and Tibetans within the Qing empire, exploring the creation of a Buddhist Inner Asia. Wu argues that Tibetan Buddhism occupied a central-but little understood-role in the Qing vision of empire. Revealing the interdependency of two expanding powers, Common Ground sheds new light on the entangled histories of political, social, and cultural ties between Tibet and China.

Common Ground: Tibetan Buddhist Expansion and Qing China's Inner Asia, Lan Wu, Columbia University Press, Paperback, 229 pages, $35.00

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