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Edited by Yael Bentor and Meir Shahar

Bringing together leading authorities in the fields of Chinese and Tibetan Studies alike, Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism engages cutting-edge research on the fertile tradition of Esoteric Buddhism (also known as Tantric Buddhism). This state of the art volume unfolds the sweeping impact of esoteric Buddhism on Tibetan and Chinese cultures, and the movement's role in forging distinct political, ethnical, and religious identities across Asia at large.
Deciphering the oftentimes bewildering richness of esoteric Buddhism, this broadly conceived work exposes the common ground it shares with other Buddhist schools, as well as its intersection with non-Buddhist faiths. As such, the book is a major contribution to the study of Asian religions and cultures.
Contributors are: Yael Bentor, Ester Bianchi, Megan Bryson, Jacob P. Dalton, Hou Chong, Hou Haoran, Eran Laish, Li Ling, Lin Pei-ying, Lü Jianfu, Ma De, Dan Martin, Charles D. Orzech, Meir Shahar, Robert H. Sharf, Shen Weirong, Henrik H. Sørensen, and Yang Fuxue and Zhang Haijuan.

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Gombozhab T Tsybikov

Tsybikov was the first scholar with a European education to visit Tibet and describe its monasteries and temples as an eyewitness traveler and an objective researcher. Tsybikov had two distinct advantages: an ethnic Buryat he could travel as a Buddhist pilgrim and thus have a chance of reaching its mysterious capital Lhasa, the religious and political center of Tibet, which was barred to outsiders, especially Europeans; as a scholar educated at a European university he had the historical and linguistic background to understand and describe what he saw. Tsybikov understood the secretive nature of the lama state and was careful to hide his work as a researcher. It was his journal that became the basis of A Buddhist Pilgrim at the Shrines of Tibet, which has both the vividness of a traveller’s eyewitness account and the informed detachment of a scholar. As a record of both religious practices and the everyday life in Tibet before Chinese inroads during the twentieth century effaced that way of life, Tsybikov’s book is a unique and invaluable snapshot of a lost culture.