Object structure


Remarks on the Lesser-known Founders of the Myth of Tibet


Ethnologia Polona 37 2016 (2017)


Klafkowski, Piotr


Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences

Place of publishing:


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ill. ; 24 cm

Subject and Keywords:

Tibet ; orientalism ; Baird T. Spalding ; Edwin John Dingle ; Theodore Illion ; popular culture ; esoteric philosophy


This article presents three writers from the 20th century who are the lesser-known founders of the popular myth of Tibet: Baird T. Spalding (1872.1953), Edwin John Dingle (1881.1972) and Theodore Illion (1898?.1984) who also went by the name of Theodor Burang or Theodor Nolling. They are not as well-known as Helena P. Blavatsky, Alexandra David Neel and Cyril Henry Hoskin; the latter known as Lobsang Rampa, but their contributions to Tibet as it is today, especially in regard to so called oriental spirituality in popular culture, is significant. They created an imagined Tibet in their works. Spalding knew nothing of India and Tibet and he was wrong in almost every detail mentioned. Dingle did not mention any Tibetan details at all and it is Theodore Illion in his In Secret Tibet who seems to be the most authentic of the three. In my article I posit the question whether Spalding and Dingle simply wanted to share with others their interpretations of Christianity dressed up in an Oriental disguise


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IAiE PAN, call no. P 366 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 367 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 368 ; click here to follow the link




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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences





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