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 awareness has been paid to the Mongol view of the Qing imperial undertaking. unlike different debts of Manchu rule, Our nice Qing focuses not just on what pictures the metropole needed to undertaking into Mongolia, but in addition on what photos the Mongols said themselves. instead of accepting the Manchu’s use of Buddhism, Johan Elverskog starts off by means of wondering the static, unhistorical, and hegemonic view of political existence implicit within the Buddhist clarification. by means of stressing as a substitute the fluidity of id and Buddhist perform as tactics always constructing when it comes to country formations, this paintings explores how Qing rules 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 certain political conception of decentralization that fostered the civil struggle one of the Mongols. He explains the way it used to be that the Manchu nice company was once to not win over "Mongolia" yet used to be as a substitute to create a unified Mongol group of which the disparate preexisting groups may purely be part parts.To foster this modification, 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 individuals of a unified empire. for that reason, the Mongol the Aristocracy got here to work out themselves as representing a unmarried neighborhood that have been rescued through the gracious Manchu rulers throughout the civil wars of the early 17th century. A key aspect fostering this variation was once the Qing court’s advertising of Gelukpa orthodoxy, which not just remodeled Mongol historic narratives and rituals but additionally displaced the sooner vernacular Mongolian Buddhism. ultimately, Elverskog demonstrates how this eighteenth-century belief of a Mongol neighborhood, governed by way of an aristocracy and nourished by means of a Buddhist emperor, gave approach 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 identification at the eve of the 20th century.
By offering an highbrow background of Mongol self-representations in past due imperial China, Our nice Qing bargains an insightful research of the primary adjustments that Mongolian suggestions of neighborhood, rule, and faith underwent from 1500 to 1900 whereas providing new insights into Qing and Buddhist historical past. it is going to be crucial studying for more than a few diversified audiences, from these operating particularly in Sino-Inner Asian historical past to these extra largely within the historical past of empires, their peripheries, and the position of faith in communal and country formations.

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Although all of these responses differed, all were fundamentally responding to the unfolding crisis of the early seventeenth century, and in large measure they all found their answer in a new, presumably better, state. The hope was that the new state would be able to rectify these problems and put the world back in order. However, before the Manchus none of these responses and the various states and communities they generated had really addressed the principle that played a role in creating these problems.

The same theoretical framework shaped early Manchu–Mongol relations. State and Community in Early Manchu–Mongol Relations When Ooba Khung Taiji forged an alliance with Nurhaci in 1626, it should be seen in the same context as the Ordos acceptance of the Dayan Khanid state, or 24 / On the Eve of Conquest the Hami ruler’s acceptance of the Altan Khanid state. The idea that within a state the various communities retained their inherent integrity, however, had to be changed if the Qing were successfully to incorporate the disparate Mongol groups.

47 During the period of the Qing formation (1620–1700) and even beyond, the two sides were slowly working out these social institutions. In this process, both Manchus and Mongols framed their interactions within sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Mongol conceptualizations of the ulus and törö. The relationship was de¤ned as two ulus, gurun in Manchu, joining together in an alliance (ey-e) or state (törö). ”50 In using this terminology the Manchu rulers were appropriating Mongol sociopolitical concepts and using them to de¤ne the nature of their relationship with these Mongol leaders.

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