Published in March 2019 by University of Hawaii Press, “Morality and Monastic Revival in Post-Mao Tibet” by Jane Caple is an ethnographic study exploring the social and moral dimensions of monastic revival and reform across a range of Geluk monasteries in northeast Tibet (Amdo/Qinghai Province) from the 1980s on.
From the University of Hawaii Press website:
Author Jane Caple’s analysis shows that ideas and debates about how best to maintain the mundane bases of monastic Buddhism—economy and population—are intermeshed with those concerning the proper role and conduct of monks and the ethics of monastic-lay relations. Facing a shrinking monastic population, monks are grappling with the impacts of secular education, demographic transition, rising living standards, urbanization, and marketization, all of which have driven debates within Buddhism elsewhere and fueled perceptions of monastic decline. Some Tibetans—including monks—are even questioning the “good” of the mass form of monasticism that has been a distinctive feature of Tibetan society for hundreds of years. Given monastic Buddhism’s integral position in Tibetan community life and association with Tibetan identity, Caple argues that its precarity in relation to Tibetan society raises questions about its future that go well beyond the issue of religious freedom.
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