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Pilgrims and Travellers in Search of the Holy

Edited By René Gothóni

The enigma of Buddhism, and especially Tibetan Buddhism, has enchanted Westerners for centuries. Most of the papers in this volume were delivered at the ‘Pilgrims and Travellers in Search of the Holy’ international symposium convened at the University of Helsinki on 18 October 2008.
The symposium focused on Buddhist and Hindu sites from a comparative perspective, bringing together a team of established international scholars and younger researchers working on their doctoral theses, all with extensive experience of field research. This volume therefore comprises a theoretical part and an empirical part. The former discusses universal aspects of pilgrimage and travel, whereas the latter focuses on Buddhist and some Hindu sites in West Bengal, China, India, Japan, Russia, and Tibet. For decades the unsettled political conditions in Tibet have made it difficult for scholars to enter the holy sites. This book offers new insights into how traditional Tibetan holy sites attract both Tibetan pilgrims and secular Chinese in an intriguing and harmonious way.

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Acknowledgements ix List of Illustrations xi rené gothóni Introduction 1 part one Theoretical Aspects of Pilgrimage Studies 9 rené gothóni Pilgrimage: Three Theoretical Interpretations 11 simon Coleman Pilgrimage and the Blessings of Place-making: Reflections on and beyond the Anthropology of Pilgrimage 31 jakob Christensson In Search of Learning and Holiness: Scandinavians Going Abroad from the Middle Ages to the Present 53 mari-johanna rahkala In the Sphere of the Holy: Pilgrimage to a Contemporary Greek Convent 69 vi part two Case Studies of Buddhist and Hindu Sites 97 alexandre i. andreyev St Petersburg Datsan: The Northernmost Buddhist Temple in Europe 99 klaus karttunen Pilgrimage as Business in Traditional India 127 riikka uuksulainen Pouring Water on Śiva: The Case of Tarakeswar Pilgrims 149 miChael pye The Way is the Goal: Buddhist Circulatory Pilgrimage in Japan with Special Reference to Selected Artefacts 163 wuqi Chenaktsang Traditional Tibetan Pilgrimage and the Eight Holy Sites of Rebgong 183 juha a. janhunen A Dead Man’s Pilgrimage: The Legend of the Wutun People in Amdo 205 juha komppa Tourism, Pilgrimage and the Fluidity of Material Culture in Labrang/Xiahe 219 vii lhundrub dorji Tibetan Buddhist Nuns: Damcho Pema’s Prostrating Pilgrimage to Lhasa 259 mitra härkönen Some Remarks on Understanding the Motives of Tibetan Nuns 273 Notes on Contributors 299 Index 303

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