The Buddhist Book Culture of the Average Person and Buryat Identity

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Abstract

This article examines the book culture of the Buryat Buddhists of the Southern Siberia. Based on social archaeographic studies, the article posits a link between local book culture and the stable identity of Buryat Buddhist. Defining Buryat Buddhist identity based on an analysis of different aspects of their worldview, cultural life, and historical past, this article reveals how Buddhist book culture and home life are the most important aspects in the formation of local identity. The analysis confirms that a radical change in the mechanism of the transfer of tradition, social changes, and the economic crisis led to the transformation of the vector of development in the traditional book culture of the Buryats, highlighting that the main priority is not the religious but the ethnic component.

Contributor Notes

Andrei Bazarov, PhD, is the curator of the Tibetan Collection at the Institute of Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Email: bazarow_andr@mail.ru

Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

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