45. What is the Role of the Dalai Lama?

Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

Cathy Cantwell [+-]
University of Oxford
Dr Cathy Cantwell is an academic researcher specialising in Tibetan and Himalayan tantric rituals of all periods from the 10th century CE, and especially the ritual texts and practices deriving from the “Early Transmissions” (snga 'gyur rnying ma). This work has included text critical and historical analysis, as well as ethnographic study of contemporary rituals. She was a Research Officer at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, from 2002-2015, and is now an Associate Faculty Member. She is President of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies and a Member of the Centre for Ethnographic Research, University of Kent.

Cathy received Buddhist teachings from Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche during his visit to London in 1979, having earlier had her first introduction to the tantric deity, Vajrakīlaya, from the Sakya Gongma Ngawang Kunga, in London 1978. Beginning academic Tibetan Studies in 1979, she did her Ph.D fieldwork at a Dudjom tradition monastery in Himachal Pradesh, India, 1981-83, and has maintained a life-long interest in this religious tradition.

Description

In Buddhism in Five Minutes , academic specialists offer answers to over 80 questions about Buddhism that people curious about Buddhism might ask. The questions cover the Buddha, what the Buddha taught, Buddhist monasticism and the role of lay people, the historical development of Buddhism, Buddhist art, Buddhist ethics, Buddhist responses to other religions, and Buddhist thought on contemporary issues. They include: Who is the fat Buddha figure? Can we know what the historical Buddha taught? What is Nirvāṇa? Why do Buddhists meditate? Does Buddhism support gender equality? What is Zen Buddhism? Are Buddhists pacifist? What do Buddhists think about those who are LGBTQI? Are alcohol and drugs ever acceptable to Buddhists? How do Buddhists view Artificial Intelligence? Are there Buddhists in Latin America? Taken together the questions cover most aspects of Buddhist belief and practice in the contemporary world. The collection is sponsored by the UK Association for Buddhist Studies but contributors are drawn from Asia, North America and Latin America, as well as Europe. The questions are answered in accessible, non-specialist language without too many footnotes. Each should take not much more than five minutes to read.

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Citation

Cantwell, Cathy. 45. What is the Role of the Dalai Lama?. Buddhism in Five Minutes. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Nov 2021. ISBN 9780000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40782. Date accessed: 13 Jul 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40782. Nov 2021

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