Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Religious Studies
Stephen C. Berkwitz
chang, beer, Buddhism, Tibet, tantra, symbols, ritual tools, women, alcohol
Buddhist Studies | History of Religions of Eastern Origins | Social and Cultural Anthropology | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies
In this thesis, I analyze the use of beer (Tib. chang) in Tibetan tantric Buddhism and emphasize its importance for studying themes of purity and pollution, meaning, and power in this context. In doing so, I argue that beer functions as a social marker and influences gender dynamics in Tibet. Beer also functions as a religious ritual tool for transactions of power. Lastly, beer is present as a multivalent symbol in Tibetan tantric songs and stories, useful as both a negative and positive metaphor for qualities or states of mind. As something that informs social, religious, and literary worlds within the Tibetan Buddhist context, beer is more than another transgressive substance or nutritious drink. Through looking at hagiographies, ritual texts, and performative songs, I present beer as useful and relevant in understanding how Tibetan Buddhists spread messages, reinforce hierarchies, and describe religious meaning.
© Kayla J. Jenkins
Jenkins, Kayla J., "Chang (Beer): A Social Marker, Ritual Tool, and Multivalent Symbol in Tibetan Buddhism" (2019). MSU Graduate Theses. 3348.