Our Great Qing: The Mongols, Buddhism, and the State in Late by Johan Elverskog

By Johan Elverskog

Even though it is mostly believed that the Manchus managed the Mongols via their patronage of Tibetan Buddhism, scant recognition has been paid to the Mongol view of the Qing imperial undertaking. not like different debts of Manchu rule, Our nice Qing focuses not just on what photos the metropole wanted to venture into Mongolia, but additionally on what photographs the Mongols said themselves. instead of accepting the Manchu’s use of Buddhism, Johan Elverskog starts off by way of wondering the static, unhistorical, and hegemonic view of political lifestyles implicit within the Buddhist clarification. via stressing as a substitute the fluidity of identification and Buddhist perform as tactics always constructing relating to kingdom formations, this paintings explores how Qing regulations have been understood through Mongols and the way they got here to work out themselves as Qing subjects.
In his research of Mongol society at the eve of the Manchu conquest, Elverskog unearths the precise political idea of decentralization that fostered the civil conflict one of the Mongols. He explains the way it used to be that the Manchu nice firm was once to not win over "Mongolia" yet used to be as an alternative to create a unified Mongol neighborhood of which the disparate preexisting groups could basically be part parts.To foster this transformation, Manchu rulers sought spiritual sanction "from above" throughout the cult of Chinggis Khan and with this mandate set approximately to restructure the cult itself and the Mongol aristocrats as contributors of a unified empire. therefore, the Mongol the Aristocracy got here to determine themselves as representing a unmarried group that have been rescued by way of the gracious Manchu rulers throughout the civil wars of the early 17th century. A key aspect fostering this modification was once the Qing court’s promoting of Gelukpa orthodoxy, which not just remodeled Mongol old narratives and rituals but additionally displaced the sooner vernacular Mongolian Buddhism. ultimately, Elverskog demonstrates how this eighteenth-century notion of a Mongol neighborhood, governed through an aristocracy and nourished via a Buddhist emperor, gave option to a pan-Qing harmony of all Buddhist peoples opposed to Muslims and Christians and to neighborhood identities that united for the 1st time aristocrats with commoners in a brand new Mongol Buddhist id at the eve of the 20th century.
By supplying an highbrow historical past of Mongol self-representations in past due imperial China, Our nice Qing bargains an insightful research of the valuable adjustments that Mongolian recommendations of group, rule, and faith underwent from 1500 to 1900 whereas supplying new insights into Qing and Buddhist background. it is going to be crucial studying for more than a few assorted audiences, from these operating particularly in Sino-Inner Asian background to these extra widely within the heritage of empires, their peripheries, and the position of faith in communal and country formations.

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By Johan Elverskog

Even though it is mostly believed that the Manchus managed the Mongols via their patronage of Tibetan Buddhism, scant recognition has been paid to the Mongol view of the Qing imperial undertaking. not like different debts of Manchu rule, Our nice Qing focuses not just on what photos the metropole wanted to venture into Mongolia, but additionally on what photographs the Mongols said themselves. instead of accepting the Manchu’s use of Buddhism, Johan Elverskog starts off by way of wondering the static, unhistorical, and hegemonic view of political lifestyles implicit within the Buddhist clarification. via stressing as a substitute the fluidity of identification and Buddhist perform as tactics always constructing relating to kingdom formations, this paintings explores how Qing regulations have been understood through Mongols and the way they got here to work out themselves as Qing subjects.
In his research of Mongol society at the eve of the Manchu conquest, Elverskog unearths the precise political idea of decentralization that fostered the civil conflict one of the Mongols. He explains the way it used to be that the Manchu nice firm was once to not win over "Mongolia" yet used to be as an alternative to create a unified Mongol neighborhood of which the disparate preexisting groups could basically be part parts.To foster this transformation, Manchu rulers sought spiritual sanction "from above" throughout the cult of Chinggis Khan and with this mandate set approximately to restructure the cult itself and the Mongol aristocrats as contributors of a unified empire. therefore, the Mongol the Aristocracy got here to determine themselves as representing a unmarried group that have been rescued by way of the gracious Manchu rulers throughout the civil wars of the early 17th century. A key aspect fostering this modification was once the Qing court’s promoting of Gelukpa orthodoxy, which not just remodeled Mongol old narratives and rituals but additionally displaced the sooner vernacular Mongolian Buddhism. ultimately, Elverskog demonstrates how this eighteenth-century notion of a Mongol neighborhood, governed through an aristocracy and nourished via a Buddhist emperor, gave option to a pan-Qing harmony of all Buddhist peoples opposed to Muslims and Christians and to neighborhood identities that united for the 1st time aristocrats with commoners in a brand new Mongol Buddhist id at the eve of the 20th century.
By supplying an highbrow historical past of Mongol self-representations in past due imperial China, Our nice Qing bargains an insightful research of the valuable adjustments that Mongolian recommendations of group, rule, and faith underwent from 1500 to 1900 whereas supplying new insights into Qing and Buddhist background. it is going to be crucial studying for more than a few assorted audiences, from these operating particularly in Sino-Inner Asian background to these extra widely within the heritage of empires, their peripheries, and the position of faith in communal and country formations.

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Extra resources for Our Great Qing: The Mongols, Buddhism, and the State in Late Imperial China

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The theory of ulus and törö mandated that these new formations be recognized as legitimate. A possible analogy might be the recent recognition of Bosnia and Croatia as viable entities in the modern world system of sociopolitical formations, namely nation-states, although this would have been unimaginable thirty years earlier. As a result, even though at the time of Dayan Khan there were presumed to be six preexisting communities, the Six Great Ulus, and these were the communities he brought into his state in the early sixteenth century, a hundred years later these larger units had fragmented into an array of communities with their own ruling elite, such as the Aokhan and Five Banner Khalkha.

The theory of ulus and törö mandated that these new formations be recognized as legitimate. A possible analogy might be the recent recognition of Bosnia and Croatia as viable entities in the modern world system of sociopolitical formations, namely nation-states, although this would have been unimaginable thirty years earlier. As a result, even though at the time of Dayan Khan there were presumed to be six preexisting communities, the Six Great Ulus, and these were the communities he brought into his state in the early sixteenth century, a hundred years later these larger units had fragmented into an array of communities with their own ruling elite, such as the Aokhan and Five Banner Khalkha.

Was it even a “submission”? Using such terms not only shapes but also de¤nes our interpretation. Indeed, it is often very hard to extract ourselves from this paradigm shaping the nature of Manchu–Mongol sociopolitical power dynamics. Not only are we conditioned by nationalist and decolonization discourses, but we also know all too well what the Manchus became. Thus it is very hard to envision what the Jurchens were like in 1620. With the image of the grandiose Qing in mind it is hard to conjure forth the reality of a wellorganized band of forest ¤shermen in the wilds northeast of China.

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