Tibet: An Enduring Civilization
To describe, gather, and interpret the unique ethnic, religious, and cultural attributes of Tibet, its distinctive place in world imagination, and international power politics. Tibet is assessed as an enduring civilization as well as an example of methodologies for the study of other non-state entities. Now part of the People’s Republic of China, as a formally autonomous region (Xizang Zizhou), and undergoing extensive change from a large influx of Han peoples and the political doctrines of the PRC’s central regime, Tibetans are once again feel their culture and religion are objects of outside interests and rivalries that date back to China’s T’ang dynasty, the Qing (Manchu) move westward, and in the nineteenth century the “Great Game” between Tsarist Russian and the British Raj. Tibet’s international status has swung back and forth between Chinese suzerainty, the 1914 recognition of Tibetan independence, the 1951 Tibetan capitulation to China, and today’s Tibet “government-in-exile” at Dharamsala, India. Particular focus on the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the canon of “great books” of Asia.