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  • Author or Editor: Nikolay Tsyrempilov x
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Buriat Buddhists in Imperial Russia
The book systematically explores the history of the Buddhist community in the Russian Empire. It offers an advanced overview of the relations that existed between the Buriat Buddhists and the Russian imperial authorities.
Various institutions and actors represented Russian power: foreign and interior ministries, the Irkutsk general-governorship, the Orthodox Christian mission of East Siberia, local journalists and academic scholars. The book is focussing especially on the evolution of imperial legislation and specific administrative mechanisms aiming at the regulation of Buddhist affairs. The author demonstrates how these actors responded to conflicting situations and collisions of interests. Thus the history of relations between Russia and her Buddhist subjects is shown as a complex process with participation of a number of actors with their own interests and motivations.
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara

This article analyses the Russian policy towards foreign Buddhist clergy who penetrated into the Russian Empire from Mongolia and Tibet between the eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. Drawing on archive materials, the origins of this policy are identified. The attitude of the official Buddhist administration of East Siberia led by Khambo Lama to the so- called alien lamas is discussed.

In: Inner Asia

Tibetan Buddhism, in the eyes of Orthodox Christian polemicists, was always seen as a harmful paganism, and fighting against this ‘superstition’ was a high priority. Based on analysis of nineteenth-century Russian Orthodox missionary articles, this paper examines the stereotyped portrayal of Tibetan Buddhism as a civilisational opponent to Christianity, and the ways Russian scholars, ethnographers, philosophers, and officials either supported or challenged this view. In this paper, I argue that, in Russia, the Orientalist paradigm is common to a greater degree among Christian clergy than in academic circles due to the status of a dominating religion the Orthodoxу enjoyed in Russia. The Russian missionaries’ support of imperial power was the essential factor. The clerics viewed themselves as carriers not only of Christian values, but also of the idea of Russian statehood and European civilisation in general. Russian Christian intellectuals repeatedly attempted to comprehend Buddhism rationally, but these attempts were highly formalistic. For them, academic study was never an end in itself, but, I argue, a convenient tool to achieve ideological domination and establish moral authority. However, their intellectual and psychological inability to view other religions as different, rather than false, was, and still is, an obstacle to mutual understanding and respect between Christianity and Buddhism in today’s Russia.

In: Inner Asia