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Building a Religious Empire: Tibetan Buddhism, Bureaucracy, and the Rise of the Gelukpa
By Brenton Sullivan
Get it: Online1h 12m
How did the Geluk school come to dominate Tibetan Buddhism?
Reading monastic legal texts, Brenton Sullivan contends that it was the standardization of Gelugpa discipline, liturgy, and scholarship as much as their evangelism which won them such wide respect and support.
An interesting case study, it reminds me of some contemporary sects (e.g. Dhammakaya, Ajahn Chah, Fo Guang Shan, etc.) which have also achieved explosive, international growth through “bureaucratization.” Often called “modernization” by insiders and academics alike, Sullivan’s research reminds me that periodic standardization has been a tool of Buddhist expansion (“preservation”) ever since the first council.