Isabelle Charleux et Valeria Gazizova : « Warrior Gods and Fierce Protectors of Mongols and Tibetans »


"The workshop concerns the Mongol and Tibetan protective deities traditions in their context specific forms and through the lens of the complex regional, political or ancestral implications for the communities in which they are encountered. Of central interest are gods, goddesses and spirits which despite their attributed protective tasks pertain to various kinds of violence – whether in relation to their functions, genealogy, mythology, iconography, or ritual interactions with them. Such cosmological entities may include warrior gods, wrathful protectors of religion, fierce Tantric tutelary deities, deified ancestors and epic heroes, ambivalent territorial spirits, or demons inflicting illnesses, with the boundaries between all these categories often being rather fluid in practice. Fierce deities can be explored across such axes as ritual landscape and ecology, iconography and material culture, ritual evolution and healing practices, transcultural borrowings and indigenisation, and transposition and mobility. • Why do certain communities choose violent gods as their key socio-cultural or political representations? • What forms can vehicles involving relationship with fierce divinities take and what are they used for? • How can aggression and malice be represented in devotional arts and practices? • Can violence and wrath, associated with these entities, be conducive to their mobility? In other words, to what extent can violence engender mobility, and the other way round, particularly in relation to religious and cultural forms?"


9:30-9:45 Welcoming coffee 9:45-10:00 Opening remarks 10:00-10:30 Valeria Gazizova (Heidelberg University)

Mobile Violence: Material Representations and Ritual Materiality of the Goddess Palden Lhamo in Kalmykia

10:30-11:00 Yulia Savostina (University of Bern) – online presentation

Protector of the Doctrine and Political Figure, Bad Spirit and Emanated Deity: Construction of Dorje Shugden’s Image in Mongolian Nation-Building and Politics

11:00-11:15 Coffee break 11:15-11:45 Isabelle Charleux (CNRS, GSRL, EPHE/PSL)

Personalized God or Archetypal War Deity? On the Problem of Identifying War Deities in Mongol Buddhist Painting and Contemporary Controversies in Mongolia

11:45-12:15 Naljor Tsering (CRCAO, EPHE/PSL) - online presentation

Many Stories of the God of Zhangzhung: Identity in Ritual, Narrative and Cultural Borders

12:15-12:30 Discussion and Q & A: Grégory Delaplace (GSRL) 12:30-14:30 Lunch 14:30-15:00 Wang Yuewei (CRCAO, EPHE/PSL)

How Did the Mountain Deity Gnyan chen Thang lha Evolve into a Buddhist Protective Guardian? A Study of Textual and Social History

15:00-15:30 Robert Mayer (University of Oxford) – online presentation

How Might Guru Chowang Have Understood his gTer Protectors?

15:30-15:45 Coffee break 15:45-16:15 Cathy Cantwell (University of Oxford) – online presentation

Introducing the Phurpa Guardians: Imagery, History, and Role in the Vajrakīlaya Traditions

16:15-16:45 Anna Sehnalova (University of Oxford)

Why to Procreate, Kill, Be Killed, or Voluntarily Die: Violence for Apotheosis

16:45-17:00 Discussion and Q & A: Charles Ramble (EPHE) 17:00-17:15 Concluding remarks
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