Seminar – 15 October – Hanna Havnevik

October 7th, 2013 by

Mond Building Seminar Room

Tuesday 15th October, 4.30

Hanna Havnevik

University of Oslo

New Buddhist temples and “self-made” ritual specialists in contemporary Ulaanbaatar

Abstract

When parliamentary democracy and religious freedom were established in the wake of the peaceful revolution in Mongolia in 1990 a number of temples and monasteries opened again, many of which had been razed to the ground during the religious purges of the 1930s. Along with economic and political liberalization, a new religious “market” started to flourish where New Age religions, Shamanism, and Christianity of different denominations compete with Buddhism for adherents and funding.  In order to offer religious services to the fast growing urban population, and alongside the re-establishment of religious activities at historical monasteries like e.g. Gandantegchenlin, a number of “self-made” religious specialists opened modern temples and religious organizations.  Impelled by social and economic problems, as well as newly created opportunities for economic earnings, new Buddhist leaders, male as well as female, organize religious institutions in innovative ways. This presentation discusses ways in which new styles of religious leadership emerge in the rapidly changing religious pluralism in Ulaanbaatar.