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Jesuit on the Roof of the WorldIppolito Desideri's Mission to Tibet$
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Trent Pomplun

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377866.001.0001

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The Zünghar Invasion

The Zünghar Invasion

(p.103) 4 The Zünghar Invasion
Jesuit on the Roof of the World

Trent Pomplun (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Desideri flees the capital to escape the Zünghar invasion of 1717 in the fourth chapter, which will largely be taken up by Desideri's narrative of the carnage that followed. This chapter outlines the dominant ideological and political myths of seventeenth and early eighteenth century Tibet, especially those involving the Dalai Lamas, and addresses the missionary's understanding of the uniquely Tibetan understanding of reincarnation. This approach synthesizes much of the new research being done in Tibetan Studies today and introduces the reader to many of the ideas that the young Jesuit would later present to his European readers. The violent political struggles of seventeenth and eighteenth‐century Tibet also allow the reader to discern the political motives behind Desideri's writing that will be outlined in the fifth chapter and will set the stage for an assessment of his capacities as an historian.

Keywords:   Tibet, China, Qing Empire, Manchu, Mongolia, Dalai Lama, reincarnation, politics, religious persecution

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