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Jesus the World Protector: Eighteenth-Century Gelukpa Historians View "Christianity"

Jesus the World Protector: Eighteenth-Century Gelukpa Historians View "Christianity" ESSAYS Jesus the World-Protector: Eighteenth-Century Gelukpa Historians View Christianity 1 Michael J. Sweet University of Wisconsin­Madison The assumption that religion was so seamlessly woven into non-Western and preindustrial cultures that it was not even distinguished as a separate entity, let alone regarded as an object for study, has been a commonplace among Western scholars of religion for some decades.2 From this point of view, which can be broadly characterized as postmodernist and postcolonialist, the concept of religion "is not a native category . . . it is a category imposed from outside . . . it is the other . . . colonialists who are solely responsible for the content of the term." 3 This is a somewhat reductionistic and Eurocentric perspective that ignores the universal human capacity to empathically understand other belief systems. One counterexample to this school of thought is found in the works of three eighteenth-century religious historians, all of whom were learned monks in the Gelukpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism: Gombojab (Mgon po Skyabs, late seventeenth century­after 1766),4 Sumba Khembo (Sum pa Mkhan po Yes shes dpal `byor, 1704­1776), and Tuken (Thu'u Bkwan Blo bzang Chos kyi Nyi ma, 1737­ 1802), authors of The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Jesus the World Protector: Eighteenth-Century Gelukpa Historians View "Christianity"

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
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Abstract

ESSAYS Jesus the World-Protector: Eighteenth-Century Gelukpa Historians View Christianity 1 Michael J. Sweet University of Wisconsin­Madison The assumption that religion was so seamlessly woven into non-Western and preindustrial cultures that it was not even distinguished as a separate entity, let alone regarded as an object for study, has been a commonplace among Western scholars of religion for some decades.2 From this point of view, which can be broadly characterized as postmodernist and postcolonialist, the concept of religion "is not a native category . . . it is a category imposed from outside . . . it is the other . . . colonialists who are solely responsible for the content of the term." 3 This is a somewhat reductionistic and Eurocentric perspective that ignores the universal human capacity to empathically understand other belief systems. One counterexample to this school of thought is found in the works of three eighteenth-century religious historians, all of whom were learned monks in the Gelukpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism: Gombojab (Mgon po Skyabs, late seventeenth century­after 1766),4 Sumba Khembo (Sum pa Mkhan po Yes shes dpal `byor, 1704­1776), and Tuken (Thu'u Bkwan Blo bzang Chos kyi Nyi ma, 1737­ 1802), authors of The

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 6, 2006

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