Monday, 21 September 2015

AHRC grant awarded for Tibetan Law research @ Oxford

Dr. Fernanda Pirie receives AHRC Leadership Fellows award

From a manuscript on Tibetan law, 
Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, Dharamsala

Dr Fernanda Pirie

Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies, 

will be working on this project Oct 2015 - Mar 2017:

Legal Ideology in Tibet: 

Politics, Practice, and Religion
The relationship between law and religion is one of the great 

themes of historical legal scholarship, yet the legal realm of Tibet’s

theocracy has barely been considered from a socio-historic 

perspective. This project is tracing the different strands that 

emerged in Tibetan legal thought during one of its formative 

periods, the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries, which 

culminated in the rise of the Dalai Lamas’ Ganden Podrang 


The members of the project are examining texts, ideas, and 

ideologies considered in their social contexts. They are tracing the 

different sources and strands of legal thought, exploring tensions 

between them and attempts by Tibetan writers, many of whom 

were religious scholars, to reconcile religious, ethical, and 

jurisprudential ideals. The approach is socio-historical, involving 

close examination of textual sources, but considering legal, 

ethical, and religious ideas in their social and political contexts 

and bringing them into comparison with scholarship on Islamic, 

Indic, Christian, and Chinese legal traditions. Socio-historical and 

anthropological insights are thus being brought to bear on a field 

dominated by textual scholarship, with the goal of developing new 

perspectives on Tibetan legal thought.

As well as publications on Tibet’s legal tradition, this project will 

culminate in the establishment of a web-based resource, which 

will incorporate copies, summaries, translations, and indexes of 

the relevant documents, currently scattered throughout different 

archives and collections.