FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTUREANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2022, no. 55
TO BUILD A BUDDHIST TEMPLE: INFRASTRUCTURE AND NON-CANONICAL PILGRIMAGE VALUES
Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Abstract: The aim of this fieldwork-based paper is to show the path to the businessman’s faith in the modern historical, social, and confessional context, as well as the language in which it is articulated. The decision to build a Buddhist temple “turnkey” to replace the one destroyed in the 1930s, in his home town leads to spiritual transformation. Buddhist teachers, who have unconditional authority, change the outlook and behaviour of the benefactor. The author examines the infrastructure and itinerary reflecting the political geography of the modern Buddhist world and the goals of the informant’s numerous travels. Special attention is paid to the experience of the “miraculous”, which emphasizes the confessional character of these regular travels and is one of the markers of faith. The interview material highlights a close connection between the confessional Buddhist affiliation and the ethnic identification of the Kalmyks, which was not so obvious a few decades ago. The language of spontaneous narrative shows the complexity of the respondent’s worldview, which combines Soviet and non-Soviet values.
Keywords: Buddhism, pilgrimage, infrastructure, Dalai Lama, charity, temple, Kalmykia, religion.
Acknowledgments: The reported study was funded by RFBR, project no. 19-09-00420 “Pilgrimage in post-secular world: Infrastructure and practices of creating spiritual / religious experiences”.
To cite: Guchinova E.-B., ‘Postroit buddiyskiy khram: infrastruktura i nekanonicheskie znacheniya palomnichestva’ [To Build a Buddhist Temple: Infrastructure and Non-Canonical Pilgrimage Values], Antropologicheskij forum, 2022, no. 55, pp. 299–328.
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