About the Author(s)
Ruth Gamble is a cultural and environmental historian of Tibet and the Himalaya. She received her Ph.D. from the Australian National University in 2014, and previously held a one-year post-doctoral position at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. Before entering academia, she worked as a journalist and an interpreter in Australia, Japan and India. She is now a David Myers Fellow at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.
"Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism serves as a clear introduction to the history and study of the tulku system by identifying the important cultural factors that informed its inception, and by giving them context in the life story of Rangjung Dorjé. As such, it is recommended for graduate students and scholars of Buddhism, Tibetan culture, and religious history. Kagyupa practitioners who draw their lineage back to Rangjung Dorjé and who follow the current Karmapa(s) will also find this book useful for situating themselves in this tradition and for making sense of how it came to be. Overall, it is a lucid account of the life of the Third Karmapa, a good analysis of the various aspects that informed his life, and a great investigation into the origins of the tulku system in
Tibet." -- Colin H. Simonds, Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies
"Ruth Gamble's book is a sensitive and subtle guide to the many facets of Rangjung Dorjé's extraordinary life. She treats Rangjung Dorjé not just as a cultural or sociological cipher, but as a fully-rounded human individual struggling to live a meaningful life in difficult circumstances. Her narrative tells us much that is new and revealing about Tibet and about the shape and meaning of Tibetan spiritual lives. This book is a remarkable achievement which does full justice to its equally remarkable subject."-- Geoffrey Samuel, Cardiff University/University of Sydney
"This is a landmark study and a must read for anyone interested in the Tibetan system of reincarnating lamas or Tibetan Buddhism more generally. Gamble skillfully explores the writings of Rangjung Dorjé, the third Karmapa and the person most often credited with initiating the practice of recognizing child successors of deceased masters, and contextualizes this with a broad range of historical sources. This work overturns much of the conventional wisdom in the field and provides a fascinating and eminently readable analysis of a pivotal period in Tibetan history and of one of its most influential figures."-- John Powers, Deakin University
"Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism marks a refreshingly new approach to unraveling the presuppositions, lingering sentiments and conceptual strategies behind the third Karmapa Rangjung Dorjé's reinvention of the oldest documented lineage in Tibet, drawing here from the incarnate's personal and surprisingly informative writings. A most welcome contribution that covers the transitional process from its incipient beginnings until it turned into a full-fledged tradition."--Per K. Sørensen, University of Leipzig, Numata Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley