« Une Tibétologie tibétaine ? » Aperçus d’une discipline émergente Le développement d’une « Tibétologie tibétaine » proprement dite. et dans lequel au travail principal s’ajoute l’affinement de la réflexion méthodologique.“Tibetan Tibetology”? Sketches of an Emerging Discipline The development of a properly “Tibetan Tibetology. The present essay seeks to present a general account of the evolution of the area. together with a more detailed review of the study of archaic Tibetan as a specialized field in which the emergence of a new Tibetological discipline among Tibetan researchers is particularly clear. In the final section of the essay. Resulting substantive work in the field has been accompanied by refinements of methodological reflection. the peculiar political pressures to which “Tibetan Tibetology” is subject is discussed in brief. is a recent development that in its broad outlines recapitulates many aspects of ethnic and nationalities studies elsewhere. dans laquelle la civilisation tibétaine devient l’objet d’analyse des intellectuels tibétains eux-mêmes. L’article se termine sur une brève discussion concernant le problème de la « Tibétologie tibétaine » prise comme objet de pression politique . résulte d’un développement récent qui dans ses grandes lignes récapitule de nombreux aspects des études sur les minorités ethniques faites par ailleurs.” wherein Tibetan civilization is appropriated as an object of analysis by and for Tibetan thinkers themselves. Cet essai propose ici une présentation générale de l’évolution de la discipline. tout en parcourant de façon plus détaillée l’étude du Tibet ancien en tant que domaine de recherche spécifique dans lequel l’émergence d’une nouvelle discipline tibétologique parmi les chercheurs tibétains apparaît clairement.

informed this project in its principle dimensions: the rationalization of European colonialism. and Gershom Scholem (1897-1982)—to have been closely associated with progressive. is a problematic notion. African Studies. our knowledge of human societies. Ócårya Narendra Dev (1889-1956). in particular. focused notably on the role of the first mentioned in his analysis of the growth of the modern Western academic disciplines concerned with the peoples of Asia and Africa who were subject to the colonial powers during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. 799-815 . Kapstein W hen I was invited to participate in the present collection. and before entering into the discussion of the particular matters that I wish to introduce in this context. in the interest of the modernization and political emancipation of their own communities. The various “-ologies” that have national or ethnic designations (Sinology. in these cases as Sinology. it would be well to clarify some of the implications of the phrase “Tibetan Tibetology. The late Edward Said.). and the post-Enlightment emergence of critical historical-philological methodologies. and the like—are now generally regarded as the direct or indirect products of the nineteenth century project of rationalizing. it may be said that Orientalism together with its cognate disci- Images of Tibet in the 19 th and 20 th Centuries Paris. nationalistic political movements of various kinds. Indology. In short. etc. « Études thématiques » (22). EFEO. it was suggested that I write on the topic of “Tibetan Tibetology. the rise of modern nationalisms. while acknowledging the valid aspects of Said’s argument.“tibetan tibetology”? sketches of an emerging discipline Matthew T. of course. in his ground-breaking and influential essay Orientalism (1978). Three often conflicting tendencies. it is clear that the other two factors mentioned were of considerable importance here as well. In some instances—Chinese. p. Indology and Judentumswissenschaft. along more or less “scientific” lines. It is no accident that we thus find some of the leading “-ologists” of the twentieth century— figures such as Hu Shi (1891-1962). Indian and Western European Jewish intellectual circles figure among the notable examples—we find local elites reflexively embracing the new project of the human sciences. coll.” as well as the ways in which my chosen subject responds to the initial charge. Japanology. Tibetology. However. respectively. Bhutan Studies. together with their analogues formed in similar contexts by the use of the word “Studies” (or equivalents in languages other than English)—Jewish Studies.” This. 2008.

see Laurent Deshayes. For further aspects of his scholarly interests. 2 For a useful introduction to the Chinese colonial project in Khams. was restricted to some parts of northwestern India that were culturally Tibetan. of course. The Tibetan experience of colonialism was largely limited to late-Qing and Chinese republican efforts to establish a colonial presence in some parts of Khams (later Xikang) and exposure to Western modes of knowledge production and organization was of negligible importance prior to the mid-twentienth century. Le mendiant de l’Amdo (Paris: Société d’Ethno­ graphie.. Kapstein plines nevertheless proved to be a double-edged sword. Siebenschuh. In some areas in Khams and Amdo. together with Central Tibetan contacts with British India. Dawei Sherap. but. it is only in the 1950s. 2004). for instance. The most complete collection of his own work will be found in Hor khang 1 . educational activities on the part of Christian missionaries also made small inroads. in line with the forward-looking aspirations of minority cadres. nationality studies under Communism tended to mix scholarship with the political “education” of minority cadres.e. Histoire du Tibet (Paris: Fayard. Goldstein. A Tibetan Account by Amdo Gendun Chöphel (1903-1951) (Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.1 In Tibet. The major contributions to date are Heather Stoddard. Jr. i. however. as well as Sikkim and parts of what is today Arunachal Pradesh. rigorous control of the minorities was increasingly emphasized as a key practical objective of the centralized Soviet State. From the contemporary Chinese perspective.3 above all. With the formation of the Soviet Union following the revolution of 1918. this bivalence found expression in the on-going development of Communist policies with respect to minority nationalities. 2000). refer to Toni Huber. analogous developments occurred much later than they did in many other parts of Asia. was the main form of foreign imperialism to which the Tibetans were exposed. in The twists and turns in the development of Chinese nationalities policy in relation to Tibet are trenchantly illustrated in Melvyn C. a bifurcation of interests that continues to play itself out in China today. while at the same time the distant roar of Chinese and Indian nationalisms also began to be heard. see Goldstein.800 Matthew T. 2006). scholars attached to the Tibet Academy of Social Science have been regularly called upon to participate in political education campaigns. A Tibetan Revolutionary: The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phüntso Wangye (Berkeley: University of California Press. Actual British colonial activity among Tibetans. 3 This controversial figure has been the subject of much study in recent years. the liberation of their communities as coequal partners in the new socialist order was articulated as a proper goal. both colonialist and nationalist projects. Sherap and Siebenschuh. Lopez. The Madman’s Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chopel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. on the American misson school in ’Ba’ thang. Ladakh and adjacent regions. the beginnings of modern Chinese education among Khams pa elites. in separate ways. Under such circumstances. The tension between social scientific research and political development continues to characterize Tibetan Studies in China today: In the Tibet Autonomous Region.2 Nevertheless. on the other. serving. Though elements of what one might call a “Tibetan Tibetology” may be seen in the work of dGe ’dun chos ’phel (1903?-1951). in a pattern mirrorring that which Said attributes to the colonial project of Orientalism. 1997): 241-251. The Guide To India. of course.. British engagement in Tibetan affairs. especially in the case of the Younghusband expedition of 1904. and Donald S. A Tibetan Revolutionary: The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phüntso Wangye. 1985). did contribute to a gradual reevaluation of traditional Tibetan learning in some quarters. On the one hand. and William R.

had its start under the republicans. for example. After his return.gov. cn/eng/ljzg/ 3585/3592/3599/t17976. see Carmen Meinert. In some cases—the Tibetan Christian journalist G. and joined the faculty of the Southwest Nationalities Institute in Chengdu in 1956. William Siebenschuh. 1997) illustrates some of these struggles as they unfolded at the Nationalities Institute in Xianyang.fmprc. however. Thus. there was little possibility for undertaking sustained scholarly work on Tibet.“Tibetan Tibetology”? 801 the years following the incorporation of Tibet into the People’s Republic of China and the foundation in 1951 of the Central Nationalities Institute (Zhongyang Minzu Xueyuan 中央民族学院) in Beijing. but nevertheless there were already some Tibetologists. touching on developments in the Tibetan diaspora only occasionally. however. dGe ’dun chos ’phel gyi gsung rtsom. the document found on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs [http://www. which published the Tibet Mirror newspaper from 1925 until 1962. particularly in fields that were somehow valued during the Cultural Revolution itself. ed. 8 There were. The establishment of the Central Nationalities Institute.htm]). 6 Chinese Tibetology. 4 On the foundation and early years of the Central Nationalities Institute in Beijing. New York: M. The noted anthropologist Li Anche (b. Tharchin of Kalimpong offers an early example5—new ways of examining Tibet were tied to the impulse to modernize Tibetan society overall. for instance. A fine pocket encyclopedia of herbal medicines. Yu Daoquan (b.. 1990).8 and most of those qualified for such bSod nams dpal ’bar (ed. “Gangs dkar Rin po che between Tibet and China: A Tibetan Lama Among Ethnic Chinese in the 1930s to 50s. including. Chinese official statements maintain that there were no organizations devoted to Tibetological research in China prior to the establishment of the People’s Republic (see. 1901) initiated some Tibetological work during the 1930s at what was then Peking University. he was active in the post-revolutionary development of Tibetan Studies. Gangs can rigs mdzod series 10-12 (Lhasa: Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang. the period of the Cultural Revolution. The Struggle for Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashi Tsering (Armonk. 7 Melvyn C.” in Buddhism Between Tibet and China. Kapstein (forthcoming). Matthew T. em rje rkang rjen ma) campaign facilitated some on-going work in Tibetan medicine. were gaining increasing exposure to nontraditional sources and methods. but not limited to. this seems correct. circa 1900) conducted some of his fieldwork in Tibetan regions during the 1930s and 40s. formed the framework for the birth of Tibetan Studies as a distinct discipline in China. E. our primary focus will be on Tibetan scholarship in China. West Bengal. entitled Bod ljongs rgyun spyod krung dbyi’i sman rigs. together with similar institutions at the provincial level. the growing Tibetan diaspora in India and to a smaller extent in the West meant that exiled Tibetan scholars.6 However. but then left the country until the late 1940s.). too. under conditions parallelling colonial ethnic studies projects (and directly inspired by Soviet nationality studies). was completed by the Cultural Revolution and Military bureaux of the TAR in . 3 vols. 5 The Rev.4 At the same time. some rare exceptions. Sharpe. In the present essay. we find that the “barefoot doctor” (Tib. beginning during the late-1950s these institutes became sites for the intensive political campaigns that wholly dominated Tibetan affairs for some twenty years. Goldstein. thereby replicating aspects of the pattern noted above. however. Strictly speaking. that.7 During this time. Prof. Tharchin was the founder of the Tibetan Mirror Press in Kalimpong. we find a characteristic Chinese and Tibetan iteration of Tibetan Studies taking shape. and Tashi Tsering.

the new environment favored the collection and preservation of whatever records and archives might still be found. translated in Kapstein. it was only following the assumption of power by Deng Xiaoping and his relatively liberal faction of the Chinese Communist Party in 1978 that academic research in this area began slowly to reemerge. Sheldon Pollock (Berkeley: University of California Press. 9 For a survey with respect to literature. Hence. Nevertheless. the masses of the people were not able to study their compositions or found them hard to understand. “The Indian Literary Identity in Tibet. was the visit of Party Secretary Hu Yaobang to the TAR in 1980. ushering in elements of Dengist reform in Tibet. Karmay. The crucial moment. were subjected to periods of imprisonment or rural reeducation. was the felt need of the hour. my “Don grub rgyal: The Making of a Modern Hero.” 792-793.” trans.10 1971 and published by the Tibet People’s Publishing House (Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang) in 1973. 1985): 39.” in Resistance and Reform in Tibet. but instead was established only among those endowed with the learning involving mastery of the sciences. Owing to this. 10 Don grub rgyal. “Tibetology: A Chinese View. mGur glu’i lo rgyus dang khyad chos (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. and in relation to some specific fields. ed. Kapstein work. rather than a mere acceptance thereof.2 (1983): 25-32. ed.” in Lungta. a critical engagement with tradition. some measure of traditional knowledge was essential for conducting textual research of whatever kind. Ch. 2003): 747-802. or kåvya: While even now there are innumerable model-books on poetics. the treatises and model-books of kåvya were bound up with many unknown or poorly known synonyms and archaisms. A statement of Chinese policy with respect to Tibetology at the time may be found in Liyu Yi. and on religious affairs. The chief reason for this was that the basis for earlier composition and kåvya was not established among the Tibetan people as a whole.” in Governing China’s Multi-ethnic Frontier. The Tibet Journal 8. Samten G. May 22-31. whether they were Han or Tibetan. too. as inclusive of the various nationalities and not as exclusively Han. zhongyi 中医) in this case clearly includes Tibetan medicine. in official usage. still it appears that [the Tibetan authors who composed and studied them] were unable to produce many new and novel poetic compositions that are easy to understand. Clearly. see my “The Indian Literary Identity in Tibet. among which local history offers a prime example. Robbie Barnett and Shirin Akiner (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1999): 45-48. 2004): 230-269.” in Literary Cultures in History: Perspectives from South Asia. 1980. “China” (Zhongguo) always being taken. eds. my “A Thorn in the Dragon’s Side: Tibetan Buddhist Culture in China.802 Matthew T. 12 (Dharamsala: Amnye Machen Research Institute. 1994): 285-289. on which see Wang Yao. . This is reflected in the remarks of Don grub rgyal (19531985) on the study of traditional Tibetan poetics. both for scientific and sociological reasons. secular study of Tibet. See. and adorned with incomprehensible poetic ornaments. “Hu Yaobang’s visit to Tibet. facilitating comprehension. vol.9 One of the chief problems that the new generation of Tibetan scholars immediately faced was to assess the place of traditional Tibetan learning in relation to the new enterprise of the post-Cultural Revolution. which had for centuries followed the Indian model of ornate and difficult Sanskrit court poetry. Thus. The expression “Chinese medicine” (krung dbyi. Morris Rossabi (Seattle: University of Washington Press. so that it came to be that the relationship between kåvya among our literary arts and the Tibetan people grew ever more distant.

collections. Gangs ljongs mkhas dbang rim byon gyi rtsom yig gser gyi sbram bu. I note two interesting dictionaries focusing upon archaic Tibetan: bTsan lha Ngag dbang tshul khrims. Tibetan Histories: A Bibliography of Tibetan-Language Historical Works (London: Serindia Publications. A useful textbook of Old Tibetan has also appeared: Go shul Grags pa ’byung gnas. no doubt. Among the areas in which these developments have been most pronounced in China. these are the fields that are stressed in Tibetan higher education and so are institutionally supported. however. with historical notes and commentary. There are now a number of fields in which Tibetan authors have to varying degrees similarly attempted to bracket out presuppositions inherited from tradition. “The Indian Literary Identity in Tibet. brDa dkrol gser gyi me long (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang.14 Local ethnography and cultural geography have also emerged as foci for research in In accord with my present subject-matter. from new assumptions guiding research. 1997). The double relation with tradition that is entailed here. and rNam rgyal tshe ring. 12 For an overview of work on traditional literature. because their apparently secular character insulates them to some extent from the complexities surrounding the study of religion in a communist state. one may note above all Tibetan linguistics and lexicography.). and the study of the Gesar epic. 14 Tibetan-medium degree courses were for a long time only available to students majoring in Tibetan language and literature. Bod btsan po’i skabs kyi gna’ rtsom gces bsdus slob deb (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Dan Martin. Bod kyi lo rgyus rags rim g.yu yi phreng ba. 3 vols. some (but not all) intended for internal distribution only (neibu). and. Bod kyi rig gnas lo rgyus rgyu cha bdam bsgrigs.12 and Tibetan historical studies. The major anthology of Tibetan poetry. A ten volume history of Tibet. (Xining: Mtsho sngon mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Don grub rgyal himself felt compelled to retain many of the conventions derived from kåvya in developing his own analysis of Tibetan poetic composition. A series of publications initiated by Nga phod Ngag dbang ’jigs med. see Kapstein.” The documentation of the numerous editions. whereby the contemporary scholar is at once critical of and constrained by it. history. is characteristic of much of “Tibetan Tibetology. Bod yig brda rnying tshig mdzod (Beijing: Krung go’i Bod rig pa dpe skrun khang. 3 vols. studies and glossaries devoted to Tibetan folklore and the Gesar stories that have been published in China in recent decades goes beyond the scope of the present article. 11 . 13 The most noteworthy modern synthesis of Tibetan history published in Tibetan to date remains Chab spel Tshe brtan phun tshogs and Nor brang O rgyan. is currently in progress at the National Centre for Tibetan Studies in Beijing and is being prepared under the general editorial direction of Professor Chen Qingying. 2001). Students wishing to specialize in other subjects have generally had no option but to pursue their studies in Chinese. to be published in Chinese. 1997) includes many of the traditional and recent histories published in Tibetan in China through 1996.“Tibetan Tibetology”? 803 Despite this.13 Not surprisingly. 1988). and Marxism-Leninism. remains Blo bzang chos grags and bSod nams rtse mo (eds. 1989). archeological and ethnographical work). while elaborating new assessments on the basis of data gleaned in part from non-traditional sources (for instance. 2001).” as indeed it has been of analogous projects among other peoples as well. has provided testimony and documentation concerning many aspects of modern Tibetan history. folklore. previously unstudied documents and other artifacts). as we see above. in part.11 literature. as well as from field research of various kinds (especially. (Lhasa: Bod ljongs dpe rnying dpe skrun khang.

Tibetan religious studies remain problematic. as they were from the 1950s on. Civilization at the Foot of Mount Sham po: The Royal House of lHa Bug pa can and the History of g. Richardson. The Study of Early Tibet Early Tibetan history stands out as a key example of an area in which the transition from traditional modes of knowledge to the new Tibetology. in cooperation with Tsering Gyalpo. Sørensen. 804-815) and Khri gTsug lde btsan (Ral pa can. together with some work in archaeology and art history. bTsan po khri sde srong btsan gyi lo rgyus mdo tsam brjod pa (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. 2005). and the role of the old inscriptions in resolving it.17 To embrace ancient documents and inscriptions as possessing an evidentiary value for historical research that is often superior to that of later. r. 1998): chapters 12 and 38. To appreciate more fully the shape of current Tibetological research in China. secular manner. . 815-841).804 Matthew T. as is well known. Guntram Hazod. Pure Earth: Collected Writings on Tibetan History and Culture.15 Tibetan medical systems. 1984). 17 For a full discussion of the particular question mentioned. Hugh E. 2000). 16 See. Sørensen and Guntram Hazod. although some daring thinkers—dPa’ bo gTsug lag phreng ba (1504-1566) and Rig ’dzin Tshe dbang nor bu (1698-1755) are among the outstanding examples—did realize that there were documents and inscriptions in existence that could be employed to refine and to amplify the available record. Here. see Don grub rgyal and Khrin Chin dbyin [Chen Qingying]. as this has unfolded in China during the past few decades.Ya’ bzang (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. and that could not become current in Tibetan learned circles at large until the institutional conditions for knowledge-formation had been altered. The 15 Exemplary in this regard are the fruitful collaborations of G. specialized domain. often not in connection with Tibetology per se as a discipline within the social and human sciences. Kapstein the Academies of Social Science. Michael Aris (London: Serindia Publications. Tibet’s First Buddhist Temple (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. may be followed with considerable clarity. Thundering Falcon: An Inquiry into the History and Cult of Khra ’brug. a source of considerable pride in contemporary China and regarded as particularly promising with respect to the commercial development of patented herbal medications. however. especially.16 Nevertheless. and Per K. I offer in the following section a brief sketch of recent work within a particular. Sørensen with the Tibet Academy of Social Science: Tsering Gyalbo. as illustrated by the much-perpetuated error of such giants among Tibetan savants as Bu ston Rin chen grub (1290-1364) and the Great Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682). one that only a small number of traditional authors were apparently prepared to make. until very recently writers were generally content to follow established tradition. both of whom insisted upon the identification of the quite separate monarchs Khri lDe srong btsan (r. Hazod and P. and Per K. with apparently deep uncertainties regarding just how these may be pursued in a relatively detached. High Peaks. ed. synthetic accounts involves a marked change of epistemological orientation. traditional scholarship was restricted by its relative indifference to epigraphical and manuscript sources. are mostly studied within the aegis of specialized pharmacological and medical institutions.

would first explore the deeper ramifications of old documentary sources for Tibetan imperial and early post-imperial history were in fact two of the most dynamic Tibetan intellectuals settled in Europe. This was the first modern history of early Tibet that sought to incorporate data gleaned from the Dunhuang manuscripts. bDud ’joms Rin po che ’Jigs bral ye shes rdo rje. 1938). made a major impact on Tibetan thinking in both China and the exile communities. made use of the Old Tibetan Chronicle from Dunhuang in his history of early Tibet and the Bon religion. see Nam mkha’i nor bu’i gsung rtsom phyogs bsgrigs (Beijing: Krung go’i Bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang. the noted Bon po scholar. those who like Don grub rgyal came of age during the closing years of the Cultural Revolution. 247-248. in neither of these instances do we find so trenchant a questioning of traditional historiography as dGe ’dun chos ’phel had already begun. Karmay’s best known historical essay in Tibetan is perhaps: mKhar rme’u bSam gtan rgyal mtshan.: Slob dpon bsTan ’dzin rnam dag.“Tibetan Tibetology”? 805 sharp contestation involved here may be seen in the incomprehension that greeted A mdo dge bshes dGe ’dun chos ’phel in Lhasa official circles when the researches that formed the basis for his Deb ther dkar po (White annals) became known. 2.18 Other Tibetans who were engaged in historical scholarship. including Wang Yao 王尧 (dBang rgyal). soon also began to take stock of the value of previously neglected materials. and Chen Qingying 陈庆英 (Khrin Chin dbyin). Chen Jian 陈践 (bSod nams skyid). for instance. though set within an otherwise traditional narrative. 1979-1985): vol. Slob dpon bsTan ’dzin rnam dag (b. one can draw a strict inference from ethnicity to value: Tibetan is good and Han is bad.20 Nevertheless. Bdud ’joms Rin po che ’Jigs bral ye shes rdo rje (Kalimpong: Dupjung Lama. indirectly following the footsteps of the latter. was sympathetic to dGe ’dun chos ’phel’s efforts and indeed had undertaken to transcribe several of the imperial inscriptions himself. 22 Though the topic of the present essay requires that I underscore to some extent the ethnicity of the persons mentioned. I have found that in some quarters it is automatically assumed that. For an anthology of Namkhai Norbu’s Tibetan language writings. I must confess to some unease in this regard. The Tibetan scholars who. in The collected writings and revelations of H.H. bTsan po lha sras Dar ma dang de’i rjes su byung ba’i rgyal rabs mdor bsdus (Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. 1986).19 Similarly. both of whom. Samten G. Le mendiant de l’Amdo. in connection with Tibetan affairs. through their publications and personal contacts. 21 Samten G.21 Before the contributions of these figures became well known in China. In my experience as a Tibetanist in Europe and the United States. This is of course absolutely 19 18 . Bod kyi rgyal rabs ’dus gsal du bkod pa. b.P. 1983). Bod kyi ’byung ba brjod pa’i ’bel gtam (Dolanji. 1994). H. together with a variety of sources unknown to earlier Tibetan writers. 1936) and Namkhai Norbu (Nam mkha’i nor bu. who might best be described as an openminded traditionalist. b. 1926). a new generation of Tibetan thinkers. In this. in advancing work in this area together with Tibetan colleagues and students should not be overlooked. had independently begun to reassess the early historical record. however. The late bDud ’joms Rin po che (1904-1987). however. the role of Tibetophone Han Chinese scholars. His rGyal rabs includes the fruits of his labors along these lines.22 Among the Stoddard. 20 Slob dpon bsTan ’dzin rnam dag. Karmay (mKhar rme’u bSam gtan rgyal mtshan.

Chinese titles in legitimation of their authority. while noting that the latter by no means belong to a single ethnicity. 793-802) to the collection to be discussed in greater detail below. 1984). bSod nams skyid.24 With these points in mind. Gansu. Our interest in the present context. Bod kyi rdo ring yi ge dang dril bu’i kha byang (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. bTsan po khri sde srong btsan gyi lo rgyus mdo tsam brjod pa. including Chinese translations of works on the subject by Japanese and European authors.806 Matthew T. Tun hong nas thon pa’i gna’ bo’i bod yig shog dril (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. most of them previously published during the past two-and-a-half decades. one finds similar merits and problems informing the work of both Tibetan and Han scholars. most responsible scholars.23 Moreover. however. Bod kyi yig rnying zhib ’jug.). as will be seen in the following section. including recent translations of Western Tibetological writings. and Don grub rgyal and Khrin Chin dbyin (trans. one must distinguish. the contemporary Tibetan historian in China is in the interesting position of one who must mediate between traditional Tibetan and modern Chinese (and to a lesser extent Western) historical studies. . exclusively concerns credible academic research. my focus in the remainder of this section will be on a recent collection of articles. 1983). when the Chinese court was continuing to grant. official history in China at present nevertheless generally insists that one find here proof of Tibet’s subordination to the Ming. regardless of the scholar’s ethnicity. Mi rigs dpe skrun khang) in Beijing in 2003. and was published by the Nationalities Press (Minzu chubanshe. and Tibetans were continuing to seek and to accept. 1983). Tun hong nas thon pa’i bod kyi lo rgyus yig cha (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. dBang rgyal and bSod nams skyid. In sum. some of the key works were by these and other Han authors. In any case. devoted to the study of early Tibet: Bod kyi yig rnying zhib ’jug (Research on Old Tibetan writings). brings together eighty-nine articles of which the great majority are naive. too. Kapstein Tibetan language contributions that initiated new approaches to the study of early Tibet in China. we find a bibliography of Chinese-language publications on early Tibetan. incredibly citing Srong btsan sgam po’s marriage to the princess Wencheng as the basis for this assertion. whether writing in Tibetan or in Chinese. among major Tibetan works by the three authors mentioned above we may note: bSod nams skyid [= Chen Jian] and dBang rgyal [= Wang Yao]. between serious scholarship produced in China and the work of political hacks. 24 While Chinese popular and propaganda sources sometimes seek to date Tibet’s incorporation into China to the Tang dynasty. they draw regularly upon Chinese publications. Thang yig gsar rnying las byung ba’i bod chen po’i srid lugs (Xining: Mtsho sngon mi rigs dpe skrun khang. While it is clear that these tokens of diplomacy did not imply the real extension of Ming power into Tibet. because Tibetan scholars in China today are universally literate in Chinese. take the Yuan dynasty as the beginning of their political union. In all events. 1992). and some of the latter must be counted among the foremost Tibetanists today. In relation to the quality and balance of Tibet-related scholarship from China. 23 In a useful appendix (pp. while at the same time being buffeted by the crosscurrents of scientific research and political interest. which was produced at the Northwest Nationalities Institute (Xibei Minzu Xueyuan 西北民族学院) in Lanzhou. More delicate is the treatment of the Ming period. Perhaps the best way to put these complications to rest would be to consider just publication in the Tibetan language as the major characteristic of the scholarship that interests us. whether originally written in or translated into Tibetan. but only the recognition of the status quo. under the general editorship of Kha sgang bKra shis tshe ring. Don grub rgyal and Khrin Chin dbyin [Chen Qingying]. This volume. or use Chinese as their own language of scholarship.

27 This no doubt paraphrases a favorite adage of Deng Xiaoping: shíshì qiú shì 实事求是. 1-3). which has been said to be “in the middle of the heavens. history is long and learning is profound and extensive. at the outset one must gain correct knowledge of the nature and qualities of the true culture of the ancient Tibetans. I provide a full translation of it here. “seek truth from facts. there has been a careful scientific investigation of the actual developments of tens of thousands of years ago. in the center of the earth. (A small number of the articles are by Han Chinese authors and one is by Namkhai Norbu.27 which is the true responsibility of scholars in the present generation. which have been successively deposited since this world began.25 provides a valuable overview of the principle orientations in this domain among Tibetan academics in China today. If one thinks to undertake well-grounded research concerning Tibe­ tology in general and Tibetan cultural history in particular. The bracketed expressions and footnotes have been added by the present writer in order to clarify gNya’ gong dKon mchog tshe brtan’s references and allusions as seems required: In this great cool and medicinal land. with very long sentences containing several layers of dependent clauses. and a useful collection of Old Tibetan texts with notes and commentary. together with the documents of various types that are related to them. there are just three principle objects [of study]: (1) There are the authentic annals and documents of past scholars in which the authentic oral traditions that were passed down for generations were written down. Professor gNya’ gong dKon mchog tshe brtan. it has been necessary to paraphrase at some points rather than to attempt a literal rendering throughout. where the mountains are high. dBon zhang rdo ring dang thang bod bar gyi ’brel ba (Lanzhou: Kan su’u mi rigs dpe skrun khang.) The work thus forms a useful conspectus of current Tibetan scholarship on early Tibet. at the head of all rivers. because the author prefers a syntactically complex style. the earth pure. we find an extended study of the “uncle-nephew pillar inscription” in Lhasa. 1986). The introduction to the volume (pp. were originally published in Chinese and are here translated into Tibetan. 26 The citation is from the famous Dunhuang document Pelliot tibétain 1286. Bod kyi brda rnying yig cha bdams bsgrigs (Beijing: Krung dbyang mi rigs slob grwa chen mo’i dpe skrun khang. Because they possess the exceptional characteristics indicative of the spirit of the [Tibetan] nationality. so 25 Among the same author’s earlier works. By means of them. lines 35-37. in this highland of glacial Tibet. whether by Tibetan or Han writers. in the heart of the continent. whether found below the earth or on the surface. contributed by one of the leaders in the field of Old Tibetan Studies in China. too. some.” . from the perspective of both theory and practice. To arrive at that.”26 that is.“Tibetan Tibetology”? 807 Tibetan-language contributions by Tibetan scholars currently active in China. (2) There are the genuine remains of cultural objects. 1995). although. For it would be inappropriate not to promote fully the positive qualities of Tibetan thought. they form the basis for discovering virtues while rejecting faults through scientific research. in the enclosure of snow mountains.

the axiom of the examination of gold by burning. 2. in the face of the many doubtful points of history.). recent anthropological development. writing finally emerged so as to record the linguistic conventions used by the [Tibetan] nationality in common. as well as the bell-inscriptions. by stages. without pushing the truth to its limits.28 Absent that.30 In particular. 28 . i. livelihood. so there was much weakness [of argumentation]. cutting and grinding seems to be certainly necessary.g. but subject to rigorous examination. the ancient Tibetan writings that came from the Dunhuang cave and that are now distributed everywhere in lands outside and inside [of China]. [it was because]. it transpired that each scholar seemed to have had his own opinion. and have been subject to scientific analysis. which are not to be taken up on faith. this science [of archaeology] is a great. in many of the scientific writings that were published in Tibetan. the Tattvasaµgraha of ÍåntarakΣita. 29 whether one considers the methods of analysis or the substance. Many such have been found in Western. If we take. composed by the Tibetans of a millenium ago. there seems to have been mostly an effort to undermine other objectives. China. the regions inhabited by Tibetans. These are unadulterated ancient writings. To put it clearly. and. as occurred in exaggerated fashion during the years of the Cultural Revolution. and relying on ephemeral learning. customs and local traditions. In order to undertake genuine research that is really meaningful. Otherwise. ornaments.. a high level was still not attained. Gangs ljongs mkhas dbang rim byon gyi rtsom yig gser gyi sbram bu. which is oft-repeated by the present Dalai Lama. as well as the mausoleums of the ancient Tibetan emperors (btsan po). etc. for example. p. of which a translation is given in my “The Indian Literary Identity in Tibet. verses 3343 and 3587). etc. pottery. etc. Cf. stone tools. 1. and the remains of ancient dwellings. of society as it was during that time were set down. Thereafter. the production.” 790. one obtains true and verifiable results. Central and Eastern Tibet.e.. the introduction to Blo bzang chos grags and bSod nams rtse mo (eds. amazing petroglyphs. is usually applied to the examination of religious doctrines. Kapstein that these may be explained clearly and without error. [the authors] considered the presuppositions of their own thinking to be valid reasons. the tally-sticks discovered in the ruins of the ancient Tibetan fort at Miran in Xinjiang. Hence. Even after the fruits of Tibetological research had ripened in the country. in Tibet. from many thousands of years ago. 30 I assume that this is an intentionally vague allusion to the subordination of historical scholarship to purely political ends. Examining the basis for this. (3) Through the several phases of the development of Tibetan society. these are the pillar and stone inscriptions from the period of the Tibetan bTsan po dynasty. vol. Whichever among these three objects one evaluates.. and This saying of Buddhist philosophers (see. it is difficult to find other means to resolve the many knotty problems of history. and the genuine ancient writings which give indications [of these matters] were not subject to tampering by later persons. ideas. activities. e. we find various plant and animal fossils from many tens of thousands of years back.808 Matthew T. bone needles. 29 rgyal nang.

just as it is. Though the phrase zhib ’jug slob ma used above does literally mean “research student. The editor-in-chief. and rDo sbis gCod pa Klu rgyal32—made efforts to assist him in compiling most of the compositions on ancient Tibetan writings that had appeared in provincial journals and books. 410412). In research. The objective of what is called “research” (zhib ’jug). on the basis of accumulated learning and reason (lung rigs). In particular. “Tun hong nas thon pa’i rje blon bar gyi mna’ tshig ’ga’ gleng ba” (pp. Several of those named here have in any case published work included in the present collection: Bis mdo rDo rje rin chen. and rDo rje ’tsho. “Tun hong nas thon pa’i bod kyi lo rgyus yig cha las don chen gnad bsdus kyi lo tshigs skor gleng ba” (pp. however. In accord with his function as editor-in-chief of the collection. Bla mtsho. a general introduction to the Dunhuang Tibetan manuscripts. is primarily to affirm what is or is not true or false. and. 31 . In the present secular context. “Tun hong gter yig las bod btsan po’i lo rgyus dang ’brel ba’i bud med kyi skor brjod pa” (pp. Kha sgang bKra shis tshe ring. 450-455). and basing oneself upon reliable learning and reason with respect to the many points that flow from them. Chu bzang Klu rgyal tshe ring.” in the present context it seems to mean something more like “research fellow” in English academic usage. he has accepted the burden of fulfilling here the need of researchers in this area for rare study materials and. “Li yul nas rnyed pa’i khram byang skor gyi ngo sprod rags bsdus” (pp. in the year 2000. which they produced. Chu bzang Klu rgyal tshe ring. gCod pa klu rgyal. The revision of past conclusions and the rectification of errors are the basis for setting out on the true and genuine path—this is now the point of departure that merits the adherence of all who join the discussion. he has corrected them insofar as was possible. 396-400). one ought to get to the essence of what is demonstrated in fine compositions that are based on prior analysis. Examining them repeatedly. lung is probably best taken as meaning “received knowledge” or “book learning. 362-368). 229-248). This book. Therefore. it is sufficient that the truth be revealed so that all come to affirm it. forced efforts that depart from the truth are never applicable. 157-165). however. “sBa bzhed las ’byung ba’i don chen ’ga’i dogs dpyod” (pp. “Tun hong bod kyi gna’ rabs yig rnying byung lugs dang de rnams dag sgrig dang par bskrun byed thabs kyi bsam tshul gleng ba” (pp. What is well-known as the view propounded by the scholarly community is just what comes forth through such research. set forth their own positions. “Tun hong nas byung ba’i bod kyi gna’ rabs yig rnying skor la rags tsam dpyad pa” (pp. in collaboration with gNya’ gong dKon mchog tshe brtan. has four great merits: 809 In traditional Buddhist contexts this expression refers to the two main sources of religious knowledge. “Dus rabs bdun pa dang brgyad pa’i dus kyi bod li mdza’ mthun ’brel ba’i skor gleng ba” (pp. It refers to an articulation of the actual matter of fact. 598-602). the renowned Professor Kha sgang bKra shis tshe ring has compiled the conclusions of investigations on the old writings of ancient Tibet that are most beneficial for current Tibetological activity. 391-395). scriptural authority and reasoned argument. For this reason. making every effort to refute them.31 but it is not sophistry (rig ’phrul ) that serves just to befuddle the thinking of others. because many of the studies [republished here] contained errors of word or of meaning.” 32 The title page in fact lists five associate editors: it omits Bla mtsho. the research students specializing in archaic Tibetan writings—Bis mdo rDo rje rin chen. is represented by a study of Tibetan relations with Khotan. what’s more.“Tibetan Tibetology”? so would not accept others’ positions even when these were true and. but adds rDo rje ’tsho and ’Brug mo skyid.

is obviously important for all efforts to grasp. The studies of the old inscriptions open with an essay on the sKar chung rdo ring of Khri lDe srong btsan (r. are made available for examination and may henceforth contribute to the progress of research work overall. drawing attention to particular contributions as seems warranted.” stong char lus yod pa]. undertaken during the more than fifty years since the [People’s] Republic [of China] was founded. who begins with his reminiscence of a visit to the site in the company of his friend . for whatever reason. former and posterior [contributions]. some works of research on the old documents of ancient Tibet that had not received attention [lit. Fourth. it makes it easy to research whatever inconsistencies of word or meaning there may be by comparing earlier and later. Second. which possesses these four qualities. in accord with the development of Tibetan educational work. “left empty. and so forth. in the brief remarks that follow I shall attempt to survey some of the main topics discussed in each of these sections. in contrast with traditional Tibetan modes of historical study. and enlarge Tibetan culture. informing the entire collection. relative to past Tibetan ways of thought. is one that accords in its broad outlines with current conceptions of historical scholarship in general. preserve. Because this work. In particular.810 Matthew T. it visibly demonstrates the increasing level of proficiency in composition and research. The essays given in Bod kyi yig rnying zhib ’jug are presented in five major sections. it merits our hearty congratulations. the essential conception of historical research that is articulated here. embracing the primary concerns of recent research on early Tibet: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) gna’ bo’i rdo ring dang brag brkos yi ge (“ancient pillar and stone inscriptions”) gna’ rabs rig gnas (“ancient culture”) gna’ rabs rtsom rig (“ancient literature”) gna’ bo’i skad dang yi ge (“ancient language and writing”) gna’ shul (“ancient remains”) As it will not be possible to review individually the almost ninety articles presented in the space available here. Kapstein First. 2-7). that of a discipline that seeks to establish historical truth through critical investigation of the most reliable sources. It is perhaps just this fact that presents the most striking novelty. Beyond that. Third. had received passing approbation. concerning Tibetology in general and ancient Tibetan writings in particular. it offers for researchers a key to knowledge and insight with respect to the archaic writings. it illustrates in a single collection the achievements of research. and through an on-going revision of past results. we find articulated here a clear conception of historical research as an autonomous intellectual discipline. or. including both documentary and material evidence. for it unites and clarifies the main methods and perspectives of past and current research on the part of many scholars concerning the ancient Tibetan writings. 804-815) by Hor khang bSod nams dpal ’bar (pp. Clearly.

Records of Tho. 102-110). It is not at all surprising that this Lhasa monument should receive a disproportionate share of attention.”33 Usefully reproduced here.34 The section on “Ancient Culture” ( gna’ rabs rig gnas). however. 35 and 221. on which the Sino-Tibetan treaties of 821-823 are engraved in Tibetan and Chinese. while at the same time noting that some Chinese officials did indeed steal and sell some of the texts for personal profit (dpon rigs che chung rnams kyis rku khyer dang gang ’dod du btsongs). 149-155). with much to say. two essays by the celebrated historian Chab spel Tshe brtan phun tshogs on the recently discovered inscriptions of lDan ma brag and Kong po De mo (pp. 8-40) are devoted to just one particular pillar inscription. 266-271). and Tshe rdor documents a historical text found on the wall of the monastery of mTho lding (Tholing) in mNga’ ris (pp. note 77. of course.ling: A Literary and Visual Reconstruction of the “Mother” Monastery in Gu. 300-306). Contestation and Memory (New York: Oxford University Press. Following this. “A Note on ¸a∫: Maternal Relatives of the Tibetan Royal Line and Marriage into the Royal Family. four articles (pp. 160-161. More recently. address precise philological questions: bSod nams skyid (Chen Jian) on the terms slung tshang and slungs dpon (pp. pp. Essays on two later inscriptions are also included: Hong He examines Yuan-period inscriptions near Beijing (pp. 35 In some cases. 111-128). 86-101).ge (Dharamsala: High Asia. and others. at the time. 2000).1-2 (2004): 75-99. 33 . regarding their removal (usually: “theft”) by Stein. namely.“Tibetan Tibetology”? 811 dGe ’dun chos ’phel in 1946. too. as the treaties it reports make absolutely clear that Tibet and China were. one by gNya’ gong dKon mchog tshe brtan with Padma ’bum (pp. for it is among the most important witnesses of Chinese and Tibetan political relations and diplomatic conventions to survive from the Tang/Tibetan Imperial period. the so-called “Uncle-Nephew Pillar” (dbon zhang rdo ring). rGya ye bKra bho on brla’ On aspects of this question.35 A number of the articles. 1999). dGa’ ba Pa sangs on the expression phyug nor in Pelliot tibétain 1071 (pp.” Journal Asiatique 292. however. and two substantial studies of the ’Bis mdo and Leb khog inscriptions in Yul shul. during which they prepared the transcription of the inscription given here. is the fullest in the book and concerns primarily (though not exclusively) the study of the Dunhuang Tibetan documents. the designation zhang has received detailed attention in Brandon Dotson. The editorial decision to place this at the head of the collection may perhaps be read as a tacit acknowledgement of the controversial dge bshes’s singular role in the modern Tibetan study of early Tibet. 78-85). 129-148). equal partners. A number of these are general introductions to Dunhuang and the manuscripts of Mogao cave 17. another by gDugs dkar Tshe ring (pp. see my The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism: Conversion. Pelliot. That it should be so stressed in current research is of course also a healthy sign. 34 The text in question appears to supplement the materials collected in Roberto Vitali. are a number of studies concerning previously undocumented early inscriptions which have come to the attention of scholars in recent years: Pa tshab Pa sangs dbang ’dus’s study of the Khrom chen rdo ring (pp. with thirty-six articles. the authors discuss the “carrying off” (khyer ba) of the manuscripts without speaking of “theft” (rku ba) by foreigners. despite the symbolic seniority that was perhaps attributed to the Tang emperor through the designation of “uncle.

Other matters interestingly discussed in this section include social classes (gNya’ gong dKon mchog tshe brtan. pp. Nevertheless. 229-248). law (Hor dkar Bu phrug. The final section provides surveys and reports on a number of important ancient sites and archaeological finds: the ruins of the sKar chung temple (Tshe brtan dge legs. as only exemplifying the virtually unlimited potential of Chinabased Tibetologists. 316-323. given their exceptional access to archival and material resources bearing on all phases of Tibetan history. 598-602). 249-255). The comments of gNya’ gong dKon mchog tshe brtan cited above underscore. followed by a more detailed review of a specialized area. 787-792). that the methodological principles of research in the historical disciplines have come to be articulated with increasing clarity during this time. pp. however. Tibetology in China is not free of political constraint. 777-779). 491-506) and Chu bzang Klu rgyal tshe ring’s article on sworn oaths (pp. rapid growth in a difficult department of historical-philological research. moreover. 456-460). This development. pp. pp. and rDo rje ’tsho. I have attempted to provide a brief overview of the emer­ gence of Tibetology as a new sphere of academic research among Tibetan scholars in China. pp. too. 780-786). the study of early Some of these topics have been the subjects of extended research by scholars in Europe or Japan. pp. and sKal bzang ’phrin las. Notable contributions in the two following sections. 307-315). relations with Khotan (Kha sgang bKra shis tshe ring. land measurement (Chen Qingying. pp. pp.yag zhu (pp. 36 . include: ’Ju sKal bzang’s study of poetry in the Dunhuang documents. Sangs rgyas mkhar on the phrase g. the queen Khri ma lod and other notable women (Zla ba tshe ring. 210-218). pp.812 Matthew T. it is clear that Bod kyi yig rnying zhib ’jug represents impressive. 378383). on literature and language. pp. 401-409. 323-327). pp. This is not the occasion. and mortuary finds in Nying khri (Wang Yuanjie. pp.36 These essays. to present a full bibliography. 757-766). together with other published interpretations of the Tibetan Dunhuang documents by scholars writing in Tibetan should now be included among the essential bibliography for those working in this special field. When we recall that the sustained investigation of the Old Tibetan artifacts and documents has been feasible for Tibetan scholars in China only during the past three decades. Kapstein brdungs in the historical annals (pp. and gCod pa Klu rgyal. 369-378). T. 410-412). 1062 and 1065 on horses (gDugs dkar Tshe ring. and the Tibetan tally sticks (khram shing) found in Xinjiang (Chos ’phel. 417-431).” The Political Uses of Tibetology In the above remarks. may be taken as presaging their central role in the future growth of the field. the neolithic village of mKhar ro (Phur phan. pp. 362-368). P. medicine (Chab spel Tshe brtan phun tshogs. 341-347. pp. focusing on metrical analysis (pp. and the same author’s detailed study of expressions referring to the Tibetan military divisions (pp. and this must be taken into consideration still in connection with any assessment of the unfolding “Tibetan Tibetology. an early necropolis in Dwags po (bSod nams dbang ’dus. pp.

as seen through a recent publication that highlights both methodological and substantive concerns. however. Zhao’s comments have been misrepresented in the text cited here.” Political decisions to enable scholarship. between parliaments and governments. It behooves us therefore to know what these are. I have no reason to believe that Mr. do not always translate directly into the determination of scholarly outcomes. In this way. between governments and peoples. however. that the political interests of Tibetan Studies in China are never far from the surface. The version of this document to which I have had access is an English translation that was circulated electronically by the organization Students for a Free Tibet. This may be seen in contemporary China. To counter this united force. We should launch a coordinated assault on different fronts. for instance. between media and governments. they launch their campaigns under various guises and through different methods.S. information. In the struggle for public opinion on the issue of Tibet. and these cannot be overlooked if one is to assess the achievements and prospects of the field overall. As their name suggests. The external propaganda struggle for public opinion should be treated as an important work.”37 This substantial discourse. is concerned in the first instance to combat what it regards as “hostile external publicity” on Tibet. requiring relentless attention. In this overall struggle for public opinion on the Tibet issue. Tibetology institutes should become an effective army. this is not a neutral scholarly body. between organizations. due mainly to the “Dalai clique” and its supporters in the West. we have to build an effective organization and network. 37 .“Tibetan Tibetology”? 813 Tibet. The Dalai clique and hostile western forces have a history of several decades of anti-China activities and propaganda. some 6500 words in its English translation. Let us recall. that the great upsurge of Asian Studies of all kinds in the American academy during the Cold War years was encouraged by U. and to do so for certain well-defined ends. Perhaps the clearest statement delineating Chinese official interest in Tibetology in recent years may be found in the “statement at the conference on national research in Tibetology and external propaganda on Tibet” delivered on 12 June 2000 by the then director of the Information Office of the State Council. and entitled “Tibet-related external propaganda and Tibetology work in the new era. However. between grassroots level organizations. government funds. and that Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies have more recently been the beneficiaries of the “war on terrorism. Zhao Qizheng. The remarkable development that has taken place in recent years reflects in part Chinese policy decisions to promote Tibetology. As well as having complete experience and expertise. between non-governmental organizations and media. no less than in the West. we should use our departments of foreign affairs. they command an army of specialists in this field. our adversary is an organized international anti-China force. We must bear in mind. but not to rush to judgment on this account. They have also developed a complete network of cooperation between nations. etc. and in fact it has been very actively engaged in promoting opposition to the Chinese position in Tibet. In our Tibet-related external propaganda. Tibetology is presented as a key battle­ ground in the struggle: The external propaganda on Tibet issue is a very complicated matter.

results. westerners have a lot of respect for this kind of works. philosophy. religion. There is much academic research. Tibetology institutes are also multiplying. Tibetologists should develop confrontation strategies and approaches. We do not have adequate intellectual arguments to carry out our external struggle. A section of them serve western anti-China forces and the Dalai clique. […] If we publish books and articles that are geared to meet the confrontational needs of our struggle against the Dalai clique and hostile western forc- . Kapstein security. As a matter of fact. in consideration of the needs of our external propaganda. Lots of research materials have been published in Chinese and Tibetan languages. handy materials and consummate intellectuals for external propaganda. Some well-known universities have established Tibet study departments and specialized programs. religion. ideas and materials for external propaganda. all of them do not serve western political interests. intellectuals. law. […] Tibetology has become the object of international attention in the 20 th century. Their research on Tibet is politically biased and fraught with many mistaken views. we need Tibetology scholars and professors from the academic departments of nationality. the main responsibilities and potential of Tibetology research in our external propaganda on Tibet are to produce ideas. must support our propaganda for public opinion by producing scholastic argu­ ments. […] Our research activities and their impacts are still a bit scattered. Effective use of Tibetologists and specialists is the core of our external propaganda struggle for public opinion on Tibet. Even if they do not have direct connections. etc. The scope of Tibetology is expanding internationally. law. and confrontation strategies. political science. We have not been able to influence the international public opinion. […] Our Tibetology institutes and specialists have become an effective army of external propaganda for public opinion on Tibet. generally speaking. Of course. We should not underestimate the contribution of scholarly works to our external propaganda for public opinion. the majority of western Tibetology institutes and Tibet-related organizations have connections with western government and the Dalai clique. but little research to build an intellectual argument to carry out our external propaganda. culture. history and archaeology. but not enough in foreign languages to influence international opinion. There is much research on Tibet’s history. They lack the required organization and planning. some of them are serious academic institutes. but little on the present situation and future development. They should produce effective articles. We do not have enough internationally-known Tibetan intellec­ tuals. There is much work on Tibet’s history. but little effort to use this to face the ground reality of international confrontation. the very act of writing and publishing books by the specialists of our Tibetology institutes is for external propaganda and public opinion. However. To put it in another words. Tibetology research. nationality. There are more than ten Tibetology institutes in America and Europe. To sum up.814 Matthew T. In addition. We need specialists with knowledge on our internal and external affairs as well as those with experience in undertaking campaigns. Tibetologists are mushrooming. they still have deep influence on western perspective and the Dalai clique.

such works should be factual with ability to strike the important views of foreign adversaries. they must be standard works. Precisely how they negotiate the challenge. India and the West.“Tibetan Tibetology”? es. there are highly qualified Tibetan scholars. in China. But. That is to say. However. “yes and no. To sum it up in one sentence. can there be such a thing under present circumstances? The easy answer is. whose special sphere of study is Tibet and whose contributions represent the forefront of Tibetan studies today. they must often confront the particular challenges that stem from the necessity of steering a course between the powerful currents of ancient tradition and contemporary political interest.. they will serve as material for our external propaganda and as weapons for external struggle. their predicament resembles the one faced by others who find themselves to be at once the objects and agents of ethnic or nationality studies. there should be footnotes and bibliographies. at the same time. In this. combining political and scholarly elements. Particularly. succinct and well-written works are as effective as missiles in the battlefield. working in the contemporary academy. of course. 815 . sources quoted should be reliable. In the title of this essay. will necessarily reflect the specificities of the Tibetan world today. however. I introduced a question: Tibetan Tibetology? Is there such a thing.” Certainly there are Tibetan Tibetologists. the arguments should be clear and credible. .

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