Universität Wien FIND

140149 VO Tibetan Buddhism at the Periphery in the 20th Century (2013S)


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 22.05. 11:40 - 13:20 Seminarraum 6 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-37
Wednesday 22.05. 17:00 - 19:00 Seminarraum 6 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-37
Thursday 23.05. 17:00 - 19:10 Seminarraum 6 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-37
Friday 24.05. 11:40 - 15:50 Seminarraum 6 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-37
Monday 27.05. 11:40 - 13:20 Seminarraum 6 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-37
Tuesday 28.05. 13:30 - 16:00 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34
Wednesday 29.05. 11:40 - 13:20 Seminarraum 6 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-37
Friday 31.05. 11:40 - 15:50 Seminarraum 6 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-37


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course explores the history of Tibetan Buddhist Communities at two different peripheries (namely Buryatia and Amdo, north-eastern Tibet) where they have encountered the clash with Marxist atheistic regimes (Soviet Union and People's Republic of China) and have gone through periods of annihilation and ethno-religious revival. The comparative perspective will provide the students with the possibility to follow the developments in these peripheral regions where the Tibetan Buddhist communities coexist with other religious and ethnic groups (Eastern Orthodox Church and Russians in Buryatia; Islam and Hui, Muslim Chinese, as well as Han-Chinese in Amdo). The course will deal with the current forms of the religious revival and the relation of state authorities to these ethnic (Buryat and Tibetan) and religious (Tibetan Buddhist) minorities.

The course consists of two parts: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Luboš Belka will focus on the case of Buryatia, while Assoc. Prof. Dr. Martin Slobodník will deal with the situation in Amdo.

The course will be taught in English.


Historical development of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia and Buryatia
Historical development of Tibetan Buddhism in Buryatia: Religion and politics
Historical development of Tibetan Buddhism in Buryatia: Religion and film
The religious revival in Buryatia: A case study of recent history of Buryat Buddhism Bidiya D. Dandaron (1914-1974)
Buryat "Triad of national Buddhist jewels": Religious and political context
Spread of Buddhism and wandering of statues: Case of the Sandalwood Buddha
Final seminary discussion on Buryatia
Tibetans in Amdo: history and current state
Amdo in the 1st half of the 20th century: between Jiang Jieshi and Ma Bufang
Incorporation of Amdo into the People's Republic of China (1949 - 1976)
Religious revival in Amdo Tibetan communities in 1980s and 1990s
Interethnic and interreligious relations in Amdo
Challenges of China's Tibet policy- the case of Amdo
Current developments and final discussion on Amdo

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list



Barkman, Udo B.: "The Revival of Lamaism in Mongolia." Central Asian Survey, Vol. 16 (1997), No. 1, pp. 69-79.
Belka, Luboš: "Bidia D. Dandaron: A Case of Buryat Buddhist and Buddhologist during the Soviet Period." In: Doležalová Iva - Martin Luther H. - Papoušek Dalibor, eds.: The Academic Study of Religions during the Cold War: East and West. New York - Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2001, pp. 171-182.
Belka, Luboš: "Buryat Buddhism: Tradition and Presence." In: Berounský Dan - Belka Luboš - Štreit Jindrich: At the End of the World. Volary: Stehlík, 2000, pp. 113-136.
Hundley, Helen S.: "Defending the Periphery: Tsarist Management of Buriat Buddhism." Russian Review, Vol. 69 (2010), No. 2, pp. 231-250.
Rahul, Ram: "The Role of Lamas in Central Asian Politics." Central Asiatic Journal, Vol. 12 (1968-1969), No. 1, pp. 209-227.
Tsyrempilov, Nikolay: "Samdan Tsydenov and his Buddhist Theocratic Project in Siberia." In: Elverskog Johan (ed.), Biographies of Eminent Mongol Buddhists. International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, 2008, pp. 117-137.


Ekvall, Robert E.: Cultural Relations on the Kansu-Tibetan Border. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.
Fischer, Andrew M.: Close Encounters of an Inner-Asian Kind: Tibetan-Muslim Coexistence and Conflict in Tibet, Past and Present. London: Crisis States Research Centre, 2005.
Fischer, Andrew M.: Educating for Exclusion in Western China: Structural and Institutional Dimensions of Conflict in the Tibetan Areas of Qinghai and Tibet. London: Crisis States Research Centre, 2009.
Hansen, Mette Halskov: Frontier People: Han Settlers in Minority Areas in China. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007.
Huber, Toni, ed.: Amdo Tibetans in Transition: Society and Culture in the Post-Mao Era. Leiden: Brill, 2002.
Kapstein, Matthew, ed.: Buddhism between Tibet and China. Somerville, Mass.: Wisdom Publications, 2009.
Kolås, Ashild - Thowsen, Monika P.: On the Margins of Tibet: Cultural Survival on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005.
Lin, Hsiao-ting: Tibet and Nationalist China's Frontier: Intrigues and Ethnopolitics, 1928-49. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006.
Lin, Hsiao-ting: Modern China's Ethnic Frontiers: A Journey to the West. London: Routledge, 2010.
Nietupski, Paul Kocot: Labrang. A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery at the Crossroads of Four Civilizations. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion, 1999.
Nietupski, Paul Kocot: Labrang Monastery: A Tibetan Buddhist Community on the Inner Asian Borderlands, 1709-1958. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2011.
Slobodník, Martin: "'Strengthen Party and Government Leadership and Consolidate Management of Religion': Religious Policy towards Tibetan Buddhism in 1990s." In: Daiber, K.-F. - Koenig, W., eds.: Religion und Politik in der Volksrepublik China. Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 2008, pp. 339-358.
Slobodník, Martin: "'Muslim labtse': contemporary forms of Hui Sufism in Tibetan surroundings." Zentralasiatische Studien, Vol. 37 (2008), pp. 119-142.

Association in the course directory

BA13, MAT4, EC 1/2

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:34