Mongolian Buddhism, Science and Healing: A Modernist Legacy

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This article looks at how the changing relationship between science and religion from the fin de siècle to the present period continues to influence healing practices in Mongolia. It explores how science and religion, rather than being congenitally antithetical to one another, are frequently co-constitutive. By following a few key historical lineages of spiritualism in their dialogue with the Mongolian cultural region, the article illustrates how ongoing exchanges between science and religion have contributed to changes in contemporary Mongolian urban religious practices. As the article illustrates, science, and/or the idea of science, has resulted in changes to lay religious epistemologies and methodologies. At the same time the prestige of science can be utilised as a means of underlining the strength of ritual efficacy, particularly within Buddhism. Yet when science or allopathic medicine fails to explain or to heal, science is utilised as a yardstick against which the transcendent power of ritual becomes evident.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCentral Asian Survey
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Mongolian Buddhism, spiritualism, aura, science, religion, socialism

ID: 285378003