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Type: Journal article
Title: Consuming the Lama: transformations of Tibetan Buddhist bodies
Author: Zivkovic, T.
Citation: Body and Society, 2014; 20(1):111-132
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1357-034X
Statement of
Tanya Maria Zivkovic
Abstract: Tibetan understandings about the bodies of spiritual teachers or lamas challenge the idea of a singular and bounded form. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the presence of the lama does not depend on their skin-encapsulated temporal body, or a singular lifespan. After death, it is not uncommon for a lama to materialize in other appearances or to become incorporated into the bodies of others through devotees’ consumption of their bodily remains. In this article, I discuss how the European ingestion of the holy bodies of Tibetan lamas creates new possibilities for embodied intersubjectivity, and also how this practice repositions bodily substance in cannibal discourse.
Keywords: Bodies; cannibalism; death; Tibetan Buddhism
Rights: © The Author(s) 2014
DOI: 10.1177/1357034X12462252
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Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
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