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The Sound of Two Hands ClappingThe Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk$
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Georges B.J. Dreyfus

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232594

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232594.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism

A Brief Historical Overview

(p.17) 1 Tibetan Buddhism
The Sound of Two Hands Clapping

Georges B. J. Dreyfus

University of California Press

This chapter provides a brief synopsis of the main elements of Tibetan Buddhism and sketches the history of the tradition. To contextualize Tibetan scholasticism, it heuristically delineates three sets of four: four periods in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, four layers in Tibetan Buddhism, and four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. To grasp the whole sweep of the history of Tibetan scholasticism, it defines four periods: a first period of assimilation (seventh to ninth century) , called the “early propagation of the teaching”; a period of full assimilation (tenth to mid-thirteenth century), which marks the beginning of the “later propagation of the teaching” associated with the age of the “new translations” in Tibet, focusing on the new schools and the role of monasticism; a classical period (mid-thirteenth to sixteenth century), when Tibetan intellectuals develop their own interpretive schemes; and a more strictly scholastic period (sixteenth century to the present), characterized by high scholasticism and the rise of sectarianism.

Keywords:   Tibet, Buddhism, scholasticism, sectarianism, monasticism, history, schools, intellectuals

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