Series Four Volume 2

Review: Tibetan Buddhism among Han Chinese

Tibetan Buddhism among Han Chinese: Mediation and Superscription of the Tibetan Tradition in Contemporary Chinese Society. By Joshua Esler. Lanham, MA: Lexington Books, 2020. 314 pages. $115 (hardcover). ISBN 978-1-4985-8464-7.

Despite the rapid growth of Tibetan Buddhism in the last thirty years among Chinese peoples in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and throughout the international Chinese diaspora, Han practitioners and their Tibetan Buddhist teachers have remained a relatively understudied part of Chinese religious life. As the first monograph devoted to this subject in nearly a decade, Joshua Esler’s Tibetan Buddhism among Han Chinese marks an important step toward filling this gap in our understanding of the contemporary Chinese religious landscape. Rooted in extensive fieldwork, including more than eighty interviews con- ducted in Beijing, Dechen/Diqing, Lijiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 2011, Esler provides an intimate and richly detailed account of some of the ways in which Tibetan Buddhist teachers and Han practitioners are adapting Tibetan Buddhism to contemporary Chinese societies.

Read the full review.

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