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Author Posman, Ellen
Title "There's no place like home": An analysis of exile in Judaism and Tibetan Buddhism
book jacket
Descript 249 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 65-06, Section: A, page: 2230
Chair: Richard D. Hecht
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2004
For nearly two thousand years, the Jewish community survived in exile after the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE. Much scholarship has been devoted to the early portion of this exile as scholars have examined the transformations that took place in Judaism as a result of the exile. These examinations led to theories about religious exile, but the general theories were developed based on the sole case of Judaism. In 1959 another religious tradition was exiled from its homeland. As a result of the Chinese occupation in Tibet that began in 1949, the Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 and was followed by over 100,000 Tibetan refugees. By pursuing a comparative study of the Tibetan Buddhist exile and the Jewish exile, this study refines theories of religious exile. Using ethnographic data from two years of fieldwork in Tibetan refugee settlements in India alongside textual data concerning the early period of the Jewish exile, this study compares and contrasts the transformations that occur in exile in each case. In particular, this stuffy focuses on the ways in which exile affects conceptions of sacred space and sacred community. The similarities between the two cases with regard to these categories suggest certain sociological patterns that emerge as the result of displacement from a sacred homeland, while the differences between the two cases help to provide a deeper understanding of each individual religious tradition
Ultimately this study concludes that in both the Jewish and Tibetan Buddhist cases conceptions of sacred space change in two complementary ways. Exilic lands become sanctified as conceptions of divine abode expand, while simultaneously the homeland's sacrality increases through a process of cosmicization and universalization of the homeland. Exile also affects concepts of sacred community, as a new minority status and common political aim unify previously divided groups and realign ideas of community based in theology, region, or political affiliation. Finally, it becomes evident that Tibetan Buddhism undergoes fewer major changes in exile than Judaism does, possibly due to its more pluralistic theology or its decentralized nature even in pre-exilic times
School code: 0035
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 65-06A
Subject Religion, General
Religion, History of
Religion, Biblical Studies
Alt Author University of California, Santa Barbara
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