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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Tantric Buddhist traditions emerged in South Asia during the seventh century c.e., and rapidly spread into Central, East, and Southeast Asia. One of the most notable features of these traditions was the presence of antinomian elements. Many tantric scriptures contain descriptions of rituals involving violence as well as sexual practices. These works led to resistance to tantric traditions in some cultural contexts. They became well established in Tibet, and have spread throughout the world with the Tibetan diaspora from 1959 onward. The dissemination of tantric traditions in the contemporary world, however, has arguably been hindered by problems relating to the transgressive texts and rituals preserved by these traditions. These include controversies concerning the continued practice of violent rituals, as well as the sexual abuse of students by tantric masters who evidently secretly maintain the practice of tantric sexual rituals.

Keywords: Buddhism, ritual, sex, sexual abuse, tantra, Tibet, violence

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