Monastic Economic Reform at Rong-bo monastery
Towards an Understanding of Contemporary Tibetan Monastic Revival and Development in A-mdo
Keywords:Tibetan Buddhist revival, contemporary Chinese Buddhism, monastic economy, dGe-lugs-pa, A-mdo, moral economy
AbstractScholarly 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.
Ashiwa, Yoshiko. 2009. ‘Positioning Religion in Modernity: State and Buddhism in China’. In Making Religion, Making the State, edited by Yoshiko Ashiwa and David L. Wank, 43–73. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Barnett, Robert and Shirin Akiner, ed. 1994. Resistance and Reform in Tibet. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Chan, Kim-Kwong and Eric R. Carlson. 2005. Religious Freedom in China: Policy, Administration, and Regulation. Santa Barbara: Institute for the Study of American Religion; and Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute for Culture, Commerce and Religion.
Ciwang Junmei, ed. 2001. Xizang Zongjiao yu Shehui Fazhan Guanxi Yanjiu. Lhasa: Xizang Renmin Chubanshe.
Dawa Norbu. 1997. Tibet: The Road Ahead. New Delhi: Harper Collins.
Dreyfus, Georges B. 2003. The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk. Berkeley: University of California Press.
———. 2005. ‘Are We Prisoners of Shangrila? Orientalism, Nationalism, and the Study of Tibet’. Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 1: 1–21.
Gendun Chopel. 2009. In the Forest of Faded Wisdom: 104 Poems by Gendun Chopel, a Bilingual Edition. Translated by Donald S. Lopez. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Gernet, Jacques. 1995. Buddhism in Chinese Society: An Economic History from the Fifth to the Tenth Centuries. New York: Columbia University Press.
sGo yon. 2009. ‘Gsar-brje gSum gyis Bod-kyi dGon-pa’i Lam-lugs la Thag-gcod Byed-pa’. Retrieved from www.sangdhor.com/list_c.asp?id=755 (30 November 2009).
Goldstein, Melvyn C. 1989. A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Goldstein, Melvyn C. and Matthew T. Kapstein, eds. 1998. Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet: Religious Revival and Cultural Identity. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Goldstein, Melvyn C. 2001. The New Tibetan-English Dictionary of Modern Tibetan. Berkley: University of California Press.
Gutschow, Kim. 2004. Being a Buddhist Nun: The Struggle for Enlightenment in the Himalayas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Hartley, Lauren R. 2000. ‘“Inventing Modernity in A-mdo”: Views on the Role of Traditional Tibetan Culture in a Developing Society.’ In Amdo Tibetans in Transition: Society and Culture in the Post-Mao Era: Piats 2000: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000, edited by Toni Huber, 1–26. Leiden: Brill.
Harvey, Peter. 2000. An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hilton, Isabel. 1999. The Search for the Panchen Lama. New York: W. W. Norton.
Huber, Toni. 2008. The Holy Land Reborn: Pilgrimage & the Tibetan Reinvention of Buddhist India. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Kapstein, Matthew T. 2004. ‘A Thorn in the Dragon’s Side: Tibetan Buddhist Culture in China’. In Governing China’s Multiethnic Frontiers, edited by Morris Rossabi, 230–269. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Kapstein, Matthew. 2002. ‘The Tulku’s Miserable Lot.’ In Amdo Tibetans in Transition: Society and Culture in the Post-Mao Era, edited by Toni Huber, 99–111. Leiden: Brill.
Kindopp, Jason and Carol Lee Hamrin ed. 2004. God and Caesar in China: Policy Implications of Church-State Tensions. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.
Kolas, Ashild and Monika P. Thowsen. 2005. On the Margins of Tibet: Cultural Survival on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Lopez, Donald S. 1998. Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
MacInnis, Donald E. 1989. Religion in China Today Policy and Practice. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
Makley, C. 2007. The Violence of Liberation: Gender and Tibetan Buddhist Revival in Post-Mao China. Berkley: University of California Press.
Mei, Jincai. 2001. Zangzu Siyuan Jingji Fazhan Zhanlue Yanjiu. Lanzhou: Gansu Renmin Chubanshe.
Miller, Robert J. 1961. ‘Buddhist Monastic Economy: The Jisa Mechanism’. Comparative Studies in Society and History 3(4): 427–438. doi:10.1017/S0010417500001092
Mills, Martin A. 2003. Identity, Ritual and State in Tibetan Buddhism the Foundations of Authority in Gelukpa Monasticism. London: RoutledgeCurzon.
Nian, Zhihai and Gengdeng Bai. 1993. Zangchuan Fojiao Siyuan Mingjian. Gansu: Gansu Minzu Chubanshe.
Ornatowski, Gregory K. 1996. ‘Continuity and Change in the Economic Ethics of Buddhism: Evidence from the History of Buddhism in India, China and Japan.’ Journal of Buddhist Ethics 3: 198–240.
dPal-bzang. 2007. Reb-gong Yul-skor Zin-tho. Gansu: Gansu Minzu Chubanshe.
Pittman, Don A. 2001. Toward a Modern Chinese Buddhism: Taixu’s Reforms. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Potter, Pitman B. 2003. ‘Belief in Control: Regulation of Religion in China’. The China Quarterly 174: 317–337. doi:10.1017/S0009443903000202
Pu, Wencheng. 1990. Ganqing Zangchuan Fojiao Siyuan. Xining: Qinghai Renmin Chubanshe.
Qinghai Sheng Difangzhi Bianzuan Weiyuanhui, ed. 2001. Qinghai Sheng Zhi (3): Jianzhi Yange Zhi. Xining: Qinghai Renmin Chubanshe.
Qinghai United Front Work Department and Qinghai Religious Affairs Bureau. 1997. ‘An Outline for Propagating Patriotic Education in Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries’. Trans. in Tibet Information Network, 1999. A Sea of Bitterness: Patriotic Education in Qinghai Monasteries, 26–40. London: Tibet Information Network.
Robson, James. 2010. ‘Neither Too Far, nor Too Near: The Historical and Cultural Contexts of Buddhist Monasteries in Medieval China and Japan’. In Buddhist Monasticism in East Asia: Places of Practice, edited by James A. Benn, Lori Meeks and James Robson, 1–17. London: Routledge.
Sayer, Andrew. 2000. ‘Moral Economy and Political Economy’. Studies in Political Economy 61: 79–103.
———. 2003. ‘Restoring the moral dimension in social scientific accounts: a qualified ethical naturalist approach’. Published by the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YN, at http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/sociology/papers/sayer-restoring-the-moral-dimension.pdf 13 October 2010).
———. 2004a. ‘Restoring the Moral Dimension: Acknowledging Lay Normativity’. Published by the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YN, at www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/papers/sayer-restoring-moral-dimension.pdf (23 September 2010).
———. 2004b. ‘Moral Economy’. Published by the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YN, at www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/papers/ sayer-moral-economy.pdf (23 September 2010).
Schopen, Gregory. 2004. Buddhist Monks and Business Matters: Still More Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Schwartz, Ronald D. 1994. Circle of Protest: Political Ritual in the Tibetan Uprising. London: Hurst.
Shakya, Tsering, Tashi Rabgyas and John Crook. 1994. ‘Monastic economics in Zangskar 1980’. In Himalayan Buddhist villages, edited by John H. Crook and Henry A. Osmaston, 601–630. Bristol: University of Bristol Press.
Shakya, Tsering. 1999. Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet since 1947. London: Pimlico.
Slobodnik, M. 2004. ‘Destruction and Revival: The Fate of the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery Labrang in the People’s Republic of China’. Religion, State and Society 32(1): 7–19. doi:10.1080/0963749042000182104
Sonam Tsering. 2008. Narrative of Rebgong. Unpublished manuscript.
Tian, Zhongfu. 2006. ‘Zhongguo Gongchangdang dui Teche Chuli Zongjiao Wenti de Huigu’. Xinjiang Shifan Daxue Xuebao (zhexue, kezue ban) 27(4): 54–59.
TIN. 1997. A Poisoned Arrow: The Secret Report of the 10th Panchen Lama. London: Tibet Information Network.
———. 1999. Relative Freedom? Tibetan Buddhism and Religious Policy in Kandze, Sichuan, 1987–1999. London: Tibet Information Network.
Wank, David L. 2009. ‘Institutionalizing Modern “Religion” in China’s Buddhism: Political Phases of a Local Revival’. In Making Religion, Making the State, edited by Yoshiko Ashiwa and David L. Wank, 126–150. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Welch, Holmes. 1972. Buddhism under Mao. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Yin, Ven. Jing. 2006. ‘Buddhism and Economic Reform in Mainland China’. In Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies, edited by James Miller, 85–100. Oxford: ABCCLIO.
Ying, Fuk-Tsang. 2006. ‘New Wine in Old Wineskins: An Appraisal of Religious Legislation in China and the Regulations on Religious Affairs of 2005’. Religion, State and Society 34(4): 347–373. doi:10.1080/09637490600974427
Yu, Anthony C. 2005. State and Religion in China. Chicago, IL: Open Court.