The Tibetan Buddhist tradition has known over thirteen centuries of
continuous development. During that time, it has spread among the
neighboring peoples - the Mongol, Himalayan, and Siberian peoples,
Manchus and Chinese. At its height is has been practiced in regions
as far west as the Volga river and to the east in Beijing. Its
capacity for creative adaptation is demonstrated by its recent
growth in Europe and America. At the same time, it is at the center
of political contestation in ethnically Tibetan regions of China,
while its best known exponent, the Dalai Lama, has become one of
the most admired religious leaders in the world today. But what
does this religion teach? Just what is the position of the Dalai
Lama, and how will his succession be assured? Is it true that
Tibetan Buddhism in entirely suppressed in China? Scholar Matthew
Kapstein offers a brief account responding to these questions and
more in this Very Short Introduction, in terms that are accessible
to students, general readers, journalists, and others who are
curious to learn the most essential features of Tibetan Buddhist
history, teachings, and practice. About the Series: Oxford's Very
Short Introductions series offers concise and original
introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology,
Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology
to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in
this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced
and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given
discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable
evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject
has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the
series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all
students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the
area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the
topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short
Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will
likely prove indispensable.
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