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Buddhism and Kalmyk Secular Law in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries

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Buddhism endorses a set of rules and standards of conduct set out in the religion’s canonical texts. The text of the 1640 Steppe Code, both a peace treaty among the Mongols and an attempt at alliance building vis-à-vis the Manchus, also reflects the adaptation of the ethical norms of Buddhism to secular law and political relations. Secular law among the Kalmyks further evolved in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Toktols issued by Khan Donduk-Dashi in the eighteenth century addressed a wide range of religious and secular elements in Kalmyk life, while also serving to strengthen the moral authority of the Buddhist clergy. Further revisions to Kalmyk law and the position of Buddhism within the secular system were promulgated at the Jinjil assembly in 1822. The Kalmyks’ inclusion of religious provisions in secular law helped to strengthen the connection between Buddhism and Kalmyk society, consolidating the normative role of religion as the basis for secular conduct and action.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, Kalmyk State University ; 2: corresponding author ; 3: Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas echollan@uark.edu

10.1163/22105018-12340092
/content/journals/10.1163/22105018-12340092
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2017-10-18
2018-05-27

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