Project

Buddhism Beyond Nations and Empires: Mapping Transnational Buddhist Networks from Early Twentieth-century Inner Mongolia and Manchuria

Program

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies

Abstract

By focusing on post-Qing Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, the terra incognita within the postwar academic disciplines of Buddhist Studies and Areas Studies, this dissertation explores the history of how transregional and transnational networks were formed in the two regions by and via Buddhists that went beyond the borders of nations and empires in the early twentieth century (1912-1949). It argues that various Buddhist traditions (Mongolian, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese) not only engaged in various overlapping nation-building and empire-building projects in Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, but they had political agency and utilized their cultural capital to maintain enchanted landscapes and empires of their own that challenged the spatial-temporal orders of the modern nation-states and empires.