Visualizing the non-Buddhist Other: A Historical Analysis of the Shambhala Myth in Mongolia at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina (2019). Visualizing the non-Buddhist Other: A Historical Analysis of the Shambhala Myth in Mongolia at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Cross-Currents. East Asian History and Culture Review, 8(2), pp. 306-338. University of Hawai'i Press 10.1353/ach.2019.0013

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The huge Shambhala thangka preserved at the National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic, is allegedly of Tibetan origin and dates to the nineteenth century. The conventional depiction of the realm of Shambhala in this thangka shows some surprisingly unconventional details in the scenes that illustrate the battle between the infidels and the Buddhist warriors led by Raudracakrin, the last ruler (kalki) of Shambhala. These details hint at a possible Mongolian origin. This article examines the visual aspects of the Shambhala myth as depicted in the Prague thangka, paying special attention to the representation of the final battle and the so-called enemies of the dharma. By engaging with textual, visual, and performative sources that inform the Prague thangka,the author argues that the production of knowledge in the visual language of the thangka is tied to the emerging conditions of globality, incorporating local life-worlds in the context of religious encounters, trade relations, and political negotiations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute for the Science of Religion

UniBE Contributor:

Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina

Subjects:

200 Religion
200 Religion > 290 Other religions

ISSN:

2158-9674

Publisher:

University of Hawai'i Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lucie Joséphine Jakob

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2020 14:59

Last Modified:

31 Mar 2020 14:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1353/ach.2019.0013

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.139962

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/139962

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