Religion, politics and the meaning of self-sacrifice for Tibet

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This paper analyses opinions of political self-sacrifice amongst Tibetan refugees, and explores their meaning for wider debates on the evolving relationship between religion and politics in the Tibetan national struggle. This is a particularly pertinent question at present, given the recent prevalence of self-immolation in Tibet and connected debates about whether such protests are religious or political issues. Does the increase of self-sacrificial political methodology indicate a secularisation process of the Tibetan movement, as some have suggested, or is it simply reflective of the natural fluidity of religion's political influence? This paper supports the latter position and seeks to explore the nature of this dynamic relationship, including the positioning within it of the Dalai Lama.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-93
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary South Asia
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


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