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Type: Journal article
Title: The biographical process of a Tibetan lama
Author: Zivkovic, T.
Citation: Ethnos: journal of anthropology, 2010; 75(2):171-189
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0014-1844
Statement of
Tanya Maria Zivkovic
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the social life of a deceased Tibetan Buddhist lama. It details the role of death and successive lives in a lifestory that ends not with the passing of the subject but with his rebirth. Ethnographic attendance to tales told about the lama’s death and reincarnation, and their textualization in the Tibetan convention of hagiography, or namtar, draw attention to quintessentially Tibetan understandings of the lifecourse. I argue that posthumous forms of the lama challenge the notion of biological death, and, in so doing, demonstrate that life can continue in new mediums including relics, reincarnation and hagiographical representations.
Rights: © 2010 Routledge Journals, Taylor and Francis
DOI: 10.1080/00141841003678767
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