"A Monastery in Time" is the first book to describe the life of a Mongolian Buddhist monastery--the Mergen Monastery in Inner Mongolia--from inside its walls. From the Qing occupation of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the Cultural Revolution, Caroline Humphrey and Hurelbaatar Ujeed tell a story of religious formation, suppression, and survival over a history that spans three centuries. Often overlooked in Buddhist studies, Mongolian Buddhism is an impressively self-sustaining tradition whose founding lama, the Third Mergen Gegen, transformed Tibetan Buddhism into an authentic counterpart using the Mongolian language. Drawing on fifteen years of fieldwork, Humphrey and Ujeed show how lamas have struggled to keep Mergen Gegen's vision alive through tremendous political upheaval, and how such upheaval has inextricably fastened politics to religion for many of today's practicing monks. Exploring the various ways Mongolian Buddhists have attempted to link the past, present, and future, Humphrey and Ujeed offer a compelling study of the interplay between the individual and the state, tradition and history.
Caroline Humphrey is professor emerita and director of the Mongolian and
Inner Asia Studies Unit at Cambridge University. She is the author or
coauthor of twenty previous books, most recently "Urban Life in
Post-Soviet Central Asia."
Hurelbaatar Ujeed founded the Hurelbaatar
Institute for Mongolian Studies at the Inner Mongolia Normal University
and is a senior research associate in the Mongolian and Inner Asia
Studies Unit at Cambridge University.
Table of Contents:
TransliterationAcknowledgments and a Note on the Writing of this Book Introduction 1. Buddhist Life at Mergen2. Mergen Gegen and the Arts of Language3. Mergen Monastery and Its Landscape4. Duke Galdan, Perspectives on the Self in the Qing Era5. "Sulde" The "Spirit of Invincibility," Its Multiplicity and Its Secrets6. The Afterlife of the 8th Mergen Gegen7. Sengge: A Lama's Knowledge and Its Vicissitudes8. The Chorji Lama: Inheriting from the Past in a New World9. Regroupings of Laity10. Tradition and Archivization Epilogue: Dispersion and Creation BibliographyIndex