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Influences of Priest-Patron Relationships: Yuan Dynasty (1270–1368) to the 17th Century

Lecture by Johan Elverskog

Saturday, May 4, 2019
3:00 PM–4:30 PM

After consolidating his rule of the Mongol Empire Qubilai Khan chose, from among the many religious specialists at his court, to become a disciple of the Tibetan Buddhist master Pakpa Lama. By so doing he not only emulated more than a thousand years of Buddhist religiopolitical practice but also established a precedent that continues to shape Eurasian history today. This lecture explores the development of this priest-patron relationship and how it defined Sino-Inner Asian history from the time of the Yuan dynasty (1270″“1368) up to the rise of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century.

About the Series

Is Tibet a part of China, an independent nation, or something else? Questions about Tibet’s sovereignty and its relationship to China are hotly contested. To understand where Tibet-China relations are today, a long view is beneficial. Four lectures by leading scholars in the field seek to plot out the causal milestones in Sino-Tibetan relations from the 7th to the 20th century.

Once one of the most formidable military powers in Central Asia, Tibet later developed a singular association with the Mongol and then the Manchu rulers of the Chinese Empire. Tibetan Buddhism offered these rulers a divine means to power and legitimacy in return for a sometimes tacit, sometimes explicit interdependence. The series concludes by addressing how Western notions of nationhood and sovereignty disrupted the status quo between Tibet and China.

About the Speaker

Johan Elverskog is Dedman Family Distinguished Professor, Chair of Religious Studies, and Professor of History (by courtesy) at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is the author and editor of nine books—including the multiple award-winning Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road and the forthcoming The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia—all of which focus on the links between Buddhism, economics, and politics across Asia. His current research project, The Dharma at the Center of World, explores the history of Buddhism among the Uighurs.

Standard Tickets: $20.00

Student Tickets: $14.00

Members Tickets: Free to All Members.

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