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In: Free Will, Causality, and Neuroscience
In: Das Nachleben der Toten
In: Philosophische Anthropologie als interdisziplinäre Praxis
In: City Intelligible
Glimpses of Tibetan Divination: Past and Present is the first book of its kind, in that it contains articles by a group of eminent scholars who approach the subject matter by investigating it through various facets and salient historical figures.
Over the centuries, Tibetans developed many practices of prognostication and adapted many others from neighboring cultures and religions. In this way, Tibetan divination evolved into a vast field of ritual expertise that has been largely neglected in Tibetan Studies.
The Tibetan repertoire of divinatory techniques is rich and immensely varied. Accordingly, the specimen of practices discussed in this volume—many of which remain in use today—merely serve as examples that offer glimpses of divination in Tibet.

Contributors are Per Kværne, Brandon Dotson, Ai Nishida, Dan Martin, Petra Maurer, Charles Ramble, Donatella Rossi, Rolf Scheuermann, Alexander Smith, and Agata Bareja-Starzynska.
In: The Political Animal in Medieval Philosophy
In: Philosophische Anthropologie als interdisziplinäre Praxis
In: Das Nachleben der Toten
In: Philosophische Anthropologie als interdisziplinäre Praxis
Author: Per Kværne


Based on a discussion of the concept of “prophet” in various cultures and historical periods, the term is applied to the situation in 8th-century CE Tibet, as retrospectively presented in the 12th or 13th century anonymous text Grags pa gling grags. This text is essentially a historical narrative describing the ascendancy of Buddhism under the Tibetan emperor Trisong Detsen (742–c. 800 CE) from the viewpoint of the Bön religion. According to this text, the emperor’s decision to favor Buddhism rather than the earlier religion of Bön was destined to have disastrous consequences for Tibet in the form of natural calamities, the disintegration of the Tibetan empire, social upheaval, and moral collapse. This process is described in great detail in the form of a prophecy uttered by the leader of the Bön priesthood, ending in his foretelling that in the future his emanation will return to Tibet and propagate teachings that are “neither Bön nor Buddhism” to specially chosen individuals. The chapter ends by attempting to understand this concept in the light of similar ideas in other cultures.

In: Glimpses of Tibetan Divination