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Religious ‘Revival’ After Socialism? Eclecticism and Globalisation Amongst Lay Buddhists in Ulaanbaatar

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This article questions whether the term ‘revival’ is apt for describing the reidentification of Mongols with Buddhism in Ulaanbaatar. Religious beliefs and practices of lay Buddhists in Ulaanbaatar tend to be characterised by openness, a lack of dogmatism, and eclecticism, rather than a revival of old religiosities. Due to the styles of and preferences for religious education, religious concepts such as reincarnation, enlightenment and karma are often very different to conventional Buddhist interpretations and from one another; meditation is frequently learned about from New Religious Movements rather than from Buddhist institutions; and the concept of Buddha (Burkhan) is being influenced by monotheistic religious ideas.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Western Australia, Australia


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