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Document Details :
Title: Tours, Titles, and Tests
Subtitle: Issues of Standardisation in Medieval Tibetan Monastic Education
Author(s): SAMUELS, Jonathan
Journal: Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
Volume: 43 Date: 2020
There is a growing academic literature on what is commonly phrased 'Tibetan medieval scholasticism', but few studies have considered the institutionalisation of learning within monastic centres, or the norms and practices associated with this during specific historical periods. As so much within the tightly-structured, monastic education of present times has traceable medieval origins, it is often assumed that learning during those earlier times was highly regulated. Epitomising this vision of continuity, both in systems and practices, are understandings of the three institutions of scholastic touring, testing, and the awarding of titles, marking the culmination of the learning process. Based on documents from the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, this article explores the nature of these three at the time and what they reveal about the organisation of learning. It both tests and questions the current understanding regarding the existence of a standardised educational system.