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Bon - the Magic Word: The Indigenous Religion of Tibet

Bon - the Magic Word: The Indigenous Religion of Tibet
Samten Gyaltsen Karmay, Jeff Watt

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"Accepting everything, refusing nothing through the centuries, it is the one all-embracing form of Tibetan religion," as leading Tibetan scholar David L. Snellgrove once said of Bon. This book, the first of its kind to be dedicated solely to the art of Bon religion and culture, which to this day has been overshadowed by its Buddhist counterpart, aims to explore and reveal the many hidden treasures of this so far overlooked religion. Engaging with the great scholars of the field, in particular the revered Samten G. Karmay, the reader is invited to delve into the depths of this wonderful culture. Jeff Watt, curator of the Rubin Museum of Art enlightens the reader by differentiating between Bon and Buddhist art, with which it is so often confused. The other contributors look at specific topics within Bon, including its paintings, sacred geography and its founding and therefore set the beautiful art and artefacts within their context.The purpose of this book is to inspire, and in the process to enable the reader to appreciate the beauty of Bon art whilst simultaneously gaining an understanding of the ethos of Bon, from the time of its founding through to the more than one million practising Bonpo of today.

It is published in association with the Rubin Museum of Art, New York.

Author Info

Samten G. Karmay is one of Tibet's foremost scholars. Karmay was born in Amdo Province and attended a local Bonpo monastery from ages eight to fourteen. He then followed a three-year course of Dzogchen meditation at Kyangthang Monastery. At twenty he obtained the Geshey degree and took further studies at Drepung. In 1959 he and his family left Tibet and settled briefly in India. From 1961 to 1964, he was a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, where he earned an M. Phil. Degree for his thesis on Bon history and then his Ph.D. for his thesis on the origin and development of Dzogchen in Tibetan Buddhist traditions. In 1980 he entered the National Centre of Scientific Research, Paris, where he became the Director of Research in history and anthropology. In 1996 he was elected President of the International Association of Tibetan Studies. He has written a number of books on Tibetan religions, including a book on the Fifth Dalai Lama.Jeff Watt is the Senior Curator, Rubin Museum of Art; Director, Himalayan Art Resource

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd
Publisher: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd

ISBN: 9780856676499
Publication Date: 23 Oct 2007
Number of Pages: 240
Height: 275
Width: 214
Illustrations: 126 illustrations

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