Vision and Violence
Carl S. Yamamoto, Towson University
This book offers the first in-depth examination of the life and writings of Lama Zhang (1122-1193), key figure in the "Tibetan renaissance." Controversial, larger-than-life, already revered as a literary innovator and tantric meditation master, Zhang entered public life in mid-career and forged a new model of rulership and religious community that would set the standard for later religious rulers of Lhasa—most notably the Dalai Lamas. The focus of the model was the tantric hermit who comes down from the mountains and sustains a worldly community through his mastery of space, time, and symbol. The subject is approached through a complex of related issues: lineage and tradition-formation, charisma and hegemony, literary genre, textual economy, and the politics of tantra.