Zaya Pandita and Buddhism among the Western Oirat Mongols

Collaborative Group

Dr. Richard P. Taupier, Dr. Sukhbaatar Nadmid


Mongolian History


This proposal is for an eighteen-month, U.S. and Mongolian collaborative research project examining Buddhism among the Western Oirat Mongols. The heart of the project is a scholarly translation and annotation of an extremely important Oirat text. Yet the scope of this research goes far beyond that translation, revealing how and why the Oirad adopted Buddhism, and placing their cultural transformation in the context of many earlier state-led conversions to Buddhism. The completion of this research will contribute to the still small but growing body of knowledge on Buddhism among Central Asian states that were conquered and absorbed by larger imperial enterprises, and whose Buddhist history has been largely lost or forgotten.