The Robe and the Sword: Towards a History of the dGe lugs pa vis-à-vis the Tibetan Army – Conférence de Federica Venturi – 3 février 2017

L’équipe ASIEs vous invite à une conférence, coorganisée avec le CNRS et le CRCAO dans le cadre du projet ERC «The Tibetan Army of the Dalai Lamas, 1642-1959» (TibArmy)


«The Robe and the Sword: Towards a History of the dGe lugs pa vis-à-vis the Tibetan Army»
par Federica Venturi (CRNS, CRCAO)

imaerobeswordSven Hedin, Tibetan Soldiers at Yagyu Ragpa, 1901 (copyright Völkerkundemuseum of the University of Zurich, Switzerland)


Date : Vendredi 3 février 2017
Lieu : Inalco (salle 3.04), Pôle des Langues et Civilisations, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris

The existence of a military apparatus within the ecclesiastical government of the dGa’ ldan pho brang, controlled by religious hierarchs, reveals a dichotomy between an administration in theory committed to Buddhist values but in practice often pressed by concerns of realpolitik. In fact, on several occasions in its three-hundred year history, the government of the Dalai Lamas and the dGe lugs pa hierarchy have had to contend with adverse situations that spurred them to utilize, support or otherwise involve the Tibetan army. While the XIII Dalai Lama (1876-1933) may be the ecclesiastical figure whose support for the army is universally recognized, other hierarchs who preceded him also found ways to reconcile their religious beliefs with the necessity to solve impelling practical questions. This talk aims at illustrating some of the historical situations that required the involvement in military matters of dGe lugs pa hierarchs, and the conceptual discourses employed by them to justify and promote the use of the army.

Federica Venturi (Ph.D., Indiana University, 2013) is a post-doctoral researcher affiliated with the ERC-funded TibArmy project. Her contribution to the project will examine the involvement of dGe lugs pa’s hierarchs with the Tibetan army, in an attempt to both gather hard data quantifying and qualifying such participation, and to explore the sanctioning of violence in a Buddhist milieu.

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