Exorcising the Mandala: Kālacakra and the Neo-Pentecostal Response

Laura Harrington

Abstract


Since the late 1990s, the Dalai Lama's "Kalachakra for World Peace" initiation has emerged as a central site where Tibetan Buddhism and its relationship to the West have been imagined and acted upon by a movement within evangelical Christianity called Spiritual Mapping. In Mapping understanding, the Kālacakra is a vehicle by which the current Dalai Lama prepares for the end times by seeking to transform America into "a universal Buddhocracy" called the Kingdom of Shambhala. Tibetan Buddhism is, in short, a missionary competitor for global religious domination. Here, the Tibetan-evangelical encounter is presented as the by-product of the simultaneous globalizations of Tibetan Buddhism and Evangelicalism with the human rights discourse in late twentieth century America. The "exorcism of the mandala" is read as both by-product and critique of globalization, and to engender a thoughtful re-evaluation of long-standing Buddhist Studies analytics.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Laura Harrington

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