Editorial Introduction

Editorial Introduction The papers in this issue of Inner Asia address a range of subjects, secular and religious, contemporary and historical, but each offers a new perspective on topics that have attracted scholarly attention. The first two papers both re-examine received wisdom regarding Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhism. Lobsang Yongdan reveals the little-known story of the uptake of scientific astronomy in Tibet through the study of the 18th century translation of Jesuit mathematical and calendrical works. When he was a child, the author’s maternal granduncle was one of the many Tibetan monks who made calendrical calculations and astronomic predictions using techniques described in Tibetan texts, in this case from the library of the famous Labrang monastery in Amdo. In many ways these techniques could be seen as entirely ‘traditional’ since they existed squarely within the ancient monastic institutions of Tibet. However, in the course of his research, Lobsang was astonished to learn that the origins of these Tibetan calendrical techniques was actually the Jesuit works on astronomy translated into Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan in the early eighteenth century. The story of these texts reveals something of the complexity of knowledge-flows in the Qing period. Rather than a simple binary relationship between a Jesuit-mediated http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Inner Asia Brill

Editorial Introduction

Inner Asia, Volume 17 (2): 169 – Dec 9, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Other
ISSN
1464-8172
eISSN
2210-5018
DOI
10.1163/22105018-12340040
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The papers in this issue of Inner Asia address a range of subjects, secular and religious, contemporary and historical, but each offers a new perspective on topics that have attracted scholarly attention. The first two papers both re-examine received wisdom regarding Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhism. Lobsang Yongdan reveals the little-known story of the uptake of scientific astronomy in Tibet through the study of the 18th century translation of Jesuit mathematical and calendrical works. When he was a child, the author’s maternal granduncle was one of the many Tibetan monks who made calendrical calculations and astronomic predictions using techniques described in Tibetan texts, in this case from the library of the famous Labrang monastery in Amdo. In many ways these techniques could be seen as entirely ‘traditional’ since they existed squarely within the ancient monastic institutions of Tibet. However, in the course of his research, Lobsang was astonished to learn that the origins of these Tibetan calendrical techniques was actually the Jesuit works on astronomy translated into Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan in the early eighteenth century. The story of these texts reveals something of the complexity of knowledge-flows in the Qing period. Rather than a simple binary relationship between a Jesuit-mediated

Journal

Inner AsiaBrill

Published: Dec 9, 2015

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