The late Giuseppe Tucci was one of the major figures of modern Tibetology. This book, first published in German in 1970 as part of a series on the religions of the world, is the product of a lifetime's work., and in it Tucci drew on his wide knowledge of the Tibetan language and literature, and on the many expeditions he had made to Western and Central Tibet in the 1920s to 1940s, to produce a work which was both authoritativeand comprehensive. After describing the diffusion of Buddhism in Tibet, Professor Tucci discusses the general characteristics of "Lamaism" and goes on to write about monastery life, religious festivals and the Bon religion. Much of the material, such as the chapter on the teaching of the various Buddhist schools, and part of that on folk religion, represents the results of previously unpublished research.
Geoffrey Samuel's translation of the book, made from the German and Italian editions, appeared in 1980. It was co-published by Routledge and Kegan Paul, London and the University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Walther Heissig's study of Mongolian religion was originally published in the same volume and series as Tucci's Religions of Tibet. Mongolian Buddhism derives from Tibet and resembles it closely in many respects. In this book Heissig, a distinguished German scholar of Mongolian literature and religion, examines the spread of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia and its interaction with the indigenous Mongolian shamanism. Most of his book, however, is concerned with the non-Buddhist folk religion of the Mongolian peoples, including a detailed account of its pantheon. The book remains an important contribution to Mongolian studies.Geoffrey Samuel's translation of the book, made from the German edition, appeared, like The Religions of Tibet, in 1980. It was co-published by Routledge and Kegan Paul, London and the University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.
GBS updated 07/03/2002