Monastic Economic Reform at Rong-bo monastery

Towards an Understanding of Contemporary Tibetan Monastic Revival and Development in A-mdo

Authors

  • Jane Caple University of Leeds

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v27i2.197

Keywords:

Tibetan Buddhist revival, contemporary Chinese Buddhism, monastic economy, dGe-lugs-pa, A-mdo, moral economy

Abstract

Scholarly focus on the political relationship between monasteries and the state has obscured other dynamics in the post-Mao revival and development of dGe-lugs-pa monasticism in China and led to its marginalization in wider discussions about Buddhism in the contemporary world. The present article seeks to broaden our understanding by examining economic reforms at a monastery in A-mdo. Based on fieldwork conducted 2008-2009, it argues that while recent monastic economic developments converge with state policies, monks’ narratives place agency for reforms within the monastic community and present impetus for reform as a moral issue. Consideration of the moral dimension of reforms, drawing on Sayer’s conception of moral economy, allows for a thicker understanding of contemporary monastic development which takes into account dynamics that extend beyond monastic interactions with the political and hegemonic power of the Chinese state.

Author Biography

Jane Caple, University of Leeds

Doctoral candidate at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Leeds, funded by a White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC) scholarship.

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Published

2011-01-25

How to Cite

Caple, J. (2011). Monastic Economic Reform at Rong-bo monastery: Towards an Understanding of Contemporary Tibetan Monastic Revival and Development in A-mdo. Buddhist Studies Review, 27(2), 197–219. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v27i2.197

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