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War Magic and Just War in Indian Tantric Buddhism

Iain Sinclair

Warfare was widespread in classical India. Although the Buddhists of India abhorred killing, they could not evade or ignore war altogether. From the seventh century to the thirteenth century, various types of war magic, together with justifications for their use, developed in tantric Buddhist communities. Defensive types of war magic adhered to pacifist ethics and aimed to avoid, halt, or disperse armies. Harmful war magic was applied in the context of the transcendent ethics of enlightenment. Even when warfare was fully incorporated into Buddhist soteriology, non-violence remained a paramount virtue, and the scope of a just war was very limited. The present survey of tantric sources shows that tantric Buddhist war magic emerged as a reaction to the inevitability of war and was applied in the hope of mitigating warfare's excesses.

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Introduction

Legacies, Trajectories, and Comparison in the Anthropology of Buddhism

Nicolas Sihlé and Patrice Ladwig

, and in particular with Vajrayāna or tantric Buddhism, a strongly ritual-centered current that is found among the latter traditions and is particularly present in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolian areas. 1 The reasons for the predominance of studies on

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Mantras and Spells

Durkheim and Mauss, Religious Speech and Tantric Buddhism

Louise Child

This article, located within the sociology of religion, aims to demonstrate ways in which the insights of Durkheim and Mauss can be applied to the study of tantric Buddhism. In order to do so it explores a specific theme, the significance of speech in religion. I will therefore begin with sections from the recent translation of Mauss's thesis on prayer, highlighting two essential propositions (1909/t.2003). Firstly, Mauss argues that prayer is an extremely diverse phenomenon, which can take a variety of forms. A second, related point is his suggestion that speech is particularly important to our understanding of religion, because it is related to both belief and action. It is this second idea that I will explore extensively in the context of tantric Buddhism because it illuminates a number of features of this religious tradition. In addition, these reflections may contribute to a broader debate, concerning the role of collective representations in the thought of both Durkheim and Mauss.

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Book Reviews

Keith Hart, Florence Weber, Nathan Schlanger, Gavin Flood, and Mike Gane

Marcel Mauss, Manual of Ethnography, edited by N. J. Allen, translated by D. Lussier, Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Press, 2007, pp. 212.

Marcel Mauss, Techniques, Technology and Civilisation, edited and introduced by Nathan Schlanger, New York and Oxford, Durkheim Press/ Berghahn Books, 2006, pp. 178.

Marcel Mauss, Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques, introduction de Florence Weber, Paris: Quadrige/ Presses Universitaires de France, [1925] 2007.

Louise Child, Tantric Buddhism and Altered States of Consciousness: Durkheim, Emotional Energy and Visions of the Consort, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, pp. vii, 197.

James Dingley, Nationalism, Social Theory and Durkheim, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 221.

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Affective Futures and Relative Eschatology in American Tibetan Buddhism

Amy Binning

Tibet: Perceptions, Projections, and Fantasies , ed. Thierry Dodin and Heinz Räther , 269 – 316 . Boston : Wisdom Publications . Bentor , Yael . 1996 . Consecration of Images and Stūpas in Indo-Tibetan Tantric Buddhism . Leiden : Brill

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The White Cotton Robe

Charisma and Clothes in Tibetan Buddhism Today

Magdalena Maria Turek

of the Weberian model of charisma, but it also draws on studies of charismatic actions in traditions or contexts beyond Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. By focusing on the costume of a charismatic master, I hope to contribute to a more nuanced understanding

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Assessing and Adapting Rituals That Reproduce a Collectivity

The Large-Scale Rituals of the Repkong Tantrists in Tibet

Nicolas Sihlé

, something of the order of 1,000 ( Sihlé 2016 ). 10 In the context of Tibetan tantric Buddhism, a ‘tradition’, as the term is used here, is defined primarily by a set of key tantric cycles (collections of ritual practices focused on one given form of a high

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“Like a Dream, an Illusion, a Drop of Dew, a Flash of Lightning”

Buddhist (Un)reality, Thought Experiments, and the “Ecological Dharma Eye” in Lu Yang's Material World Knight Game Film

Livia Monnet

the mass of consumer products, the desires they epitomize, and the capitalist system that produces both the former and the latter with the Vajra. Now the Vajra is the symbol of Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism, and it is also the most important object in