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The Shamanic Empire and the Heavenly Astute Khan: Analysis of the Shamanic Empire of the Early Qing, Its Role in Inner Asian Hegemony, the Nature of Shamanic Khanship, and Implications for Manchu Identity

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Title:The Shamanic Empire and the Heavenly Astute Khan: Analysis of the Shamanic Empire of the Early Qing, Its Role in Inner Asian Hegemony, the Nature of Shamanic Khanship, and Implications for Manchu Identity
Authors:Garrett, Stephen
Contributors:Brown, Shana (advisor)
History (department)
Keywords:Asian history
History
Inner Asia
Manchu
Mongol
show 3 moreQing Dynasty
Religion and Empire
Shamanism
show less
Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:The Manchu-ruled Qing dynasty currently exists as one of China’s most successful but simultaneously controversial historical periods. The Qing’s territorial expansion, ethnic diversity, and cultural production have long been lauded by contemporary Chinese scholars. Contemporaneous to these points of pride has been a disagreement over the nature of the Manchu-ruled dynasty. The dominant narrative argues, that the Manchus, even before placing the young Shunzhi emperor (1638-1661) on the dragon throne, had succumbed to the siren’s call of thousands of years of Chinese culture and thus were not truly distinct but the latest ethnic minority group to assimilate into the Chinese tradition. This study, however, seeks to problematize this narrative by examining the nature of Manchu rule through the lens of Inner Asian traditions, Manchu Shamanic practices, and Shamanic worldview. This study focusing on the first six Qing rulers argues that within the early dynasty existed a conceptual inner empire through which inherently Shamanic institutions, relationships, and shared concepts of legitimacy not only bound the Manchu emperors with the Bannermen peoples garrisoned throughout the empire but also created the foundation of Manchu sovereignty over the Siberian and Mongol allies. These institutional relationships were established by the dynastic founder Nurhaci (1559-1626) and perfected under the ingenious leadership of Hong Taiji (1592-1643). This study examines the process of unprecedented state centralization which stripped both political and spiritual authority from the Manchu shaman and saw the Manchu rulers become the masters of ritual and the arbiters of heterodoxy. It also counters the tautological Buddhist explanations of Manchu leadership in Inner Asia and proposes a reframing of the issue in order to highlight the sustained significance of Shamanic concepts and institutions in Qing Inner Asia. Ultimately, this study, in conjunction with the paradigms of the New Qing History and utilizing a wide range of primary and secondary sources, restores the Manchu perspective to the study of Qing history.
Pages/Duration:199 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/69002
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - History


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