Trent Pomplun Loyola College in Maryland Ippolito Desideri (16841733), a Jesuit priest and missionary who lived in Tibet from 1715 to 1721, is relatively well known among Tibetanists and historians of the Society of Jesus. Often identified as the first modern scholar of Tibetan religion and culture, Desideri traveled across Tibet's western deserts, rubbed elbows with dignitaries in the court of the Mongol chieftain Lhazang Khan, and left a fascinating account of the political events that led to the establishment of the Manchu protectorate in 1720. The Jesuit's importance in the history of Buddhist-Christian dialogue is a secret known to specialists, largely because none of his Tibetan writings have been translated into English, and his magnum opus, the immense Questions on Reincarnation and Emptiness Offered to the Scholars of Tibet by the Christian Lama Ippolito (Mgo skar bla ma i po li do shes bya ba yis phul b'ai bod kyi mkhas pa rnams la skyes pa snga ma dang stong pa nyid kyi lta ba'i sgo nes zhu ba), has neither been printed nor translated into any language. In fact, Desideri's Italian writings languished in various archives for almost two hundred years; like one of Padmasabhava's treasures
Buddhist-Christian Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 17, 2009
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