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The Persistence and Transformation of Pre-Buddhist Religious Practices in Rural Bhutan
Pathbreakers: New Postdoctoral Research on South Asia at U of T

October 15, 2021 | 5-6 pm ET

The pre-Buddhist Bon has been looked down on by Buddhists for centuries, yet it continues to exist and to exert its influence on people’s everyday lives down to the present day. The ordinary villagers, including part-time lay Buddhist practitioners and educated people identify themselves as Buddhists, but they have no problem in propitiating the local Bon gods and deities, or having recourse to Bon rites after or prior to the Buddhist rituals and biomedical therapies. In this talk, I will present an overview of my book project which examines the persistence and transformation of the pre-Buddhist Bon religious practices in Buddhist Bhutan. It takes the relationship between great and little traditions as its starting point for the interplay of Buddhism and Bon underpinned by the local conception of two forms of religion: mundane or worldly god’s religion and supramundane or Buddha’s religion, discusses the mutual accommodation and syncretism between Buddhism and Bon, and offers new perspectives on the central distinguishing features of great and little traditions.

SPEAKER: Kelzang Tashi, Research Associate, Centre for South Asian Studies at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, U of T
DISCUSSANT & MODERATOR: Christoph Emmrich, Director, Centre for South Asian Studies, U of T

Oct 15, 2021 05:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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