Ritual as History in Tibetan Divine Kingship: Notes on the Myth of the Khotanese Monks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An analysis of the methodological issues surrounding religious biography and divine kingship with particular reference to Tibetan narratives of the story of the Khotanese monks, the first known depiction of Tibet's first Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo as a human form of the celestial bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Through an examination of this story in its various redactions from the eleventh through to the fourteenth century, it is argued that such hagiographies actually constitute a form of 'constitutional mythology' - that is a means for Tibetans to explore constitutional ideas, rather than simple pious elaboration by the faithful. This opens up new avenues of historical analysis not previously available in our understanding of Tibetan historical culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-220
Number of pages2
JournalHistory of Religions
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Fingerprint

History
Monks
Kingship
Avalokitesvara
Mythology
Redaction
Tibet
Buddhist
Bodhisattva
Religion
Human Form
Historical Culture
Hagiographies
Historical Analysis
Elaboration

Keywords

  • religion
  • Tibet
  • constitutional mythology
  • Buddhism
  • methodological issues
  • Asian studies (general)
  • divine kingship

Cite this

Ritual as History in Tibetan Divine Kingship : Notes on the Myth of the Khotanese Monks. / Mills, Martin A. .

In: History of Religions, Vol. 51, No. 3, 02.2012, p. 219-220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{935ce626e1ab44818292de5de6089e00,
title = "Ritual as History in Tibetan Divine Kingship: Notes on the Myth of the Khotanese Monks",
abstract = "An analysis of the methodological issues surrounding religious biography and divine kingship with particular reference to Tibetan narratives of the story of the Khotanese monks, the first known depiction of Tibet's first Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo as a human form of the celestial bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Through an examination of this story in its various redactions from the eleventh through to the fourteenth century, it is argued that such hagiographies actually constitute a form of 'constitutional mythology' - that is a means for Tibetans to explore constitutional ideas, rather than simple pious elaboration by the faithful. This opens up new avenues of historical analysis not previously available in our understanding of Tibetan historical culture.",
keywords = "religion, Tibet, constitutional mythology, Buddhism, methodological issues, Asian studies (general), divine kingship",
author = "Mills, {Martin A.}",
year = "2012",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1086/662190",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "219--220",
journal = "History of Religions",
issn = "0018-2710",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ritual as History in Tibetan Divine Kingship

T2 - Notes on the Myth of the Khotanese Monks

AU - Mills, Martin A.

PY - 2012/2

Y1 - 2012/2

N2 - An analysis of the methodological issues surrounding religious biography and divine kingship with particular reference to Tibetan narratives of the story of the Khotanese monks, the first known depiction of Tibet's first Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo as a human form of the celestial bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Through an examination of this story in its various redactions from the eleventh through to the fourteenth century, it is argued that such hagiographies actually constitute a form of 'constitutional mythology' - that is a means for Tibetans to explore constitutional ideas, rather than simple pious elaboration by the faithful. This opens up new avenues of historical analysis not previously available in our understanding of Tibetan historical culture.

AB - An analysis of the methodological issues surrounding religious biography and divine kingship with particular reference to Tibetan narratives of the story of the Khotanese monks, the first known depiction of Tibet's first Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo as a human form of the celestial bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Through an examination of this story in its various redactions from the eleventh through to the fourteenth century, it is argued that such hagiographies actually constitute a form of 'constitutional mythology' - that is a means for Tibetans to explore constitutional ideas, rather than simple pious elaboration by the faithful. This opens up new avenues of historical analysis not previously available in our understanding of Tibetan historical culture.

KW - religion

KW - Tibet

KW - constitutional mythology

KW - Buddhism

KW - methodological issues

KW - Asian studies (general)

KW - divine kingship

U2 - 10.1086/662190

DO - 10.1086/662190

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 219

EP - 220

JO - History of Religions

JF - History of Religions

SN - 0018-2710

IS - 3

ER -