The Tibetan & Himalayan Religions Unit aims to promote discussion among scholars taking diverse approaches to the study of Tibetan and Himalayan religions. The group is multi-disciplinary, especially focusing on work that challenges the dichotomies through which the field has traditionally defined itself: text/practice, written/oral, philology/ethnography, humanistic/social scientific study.
The group’s efforts are centered largely on cultural history, resulting in a methodologically varied approach to such subjects as folk religious practices, religion and material culture, the politics of religious institutions, the representation of Tibetan religions in the media, and the historical construction of the field itself.
THRU is part of the American Academy of Religion. AAR is the “largest, most comprehensive association dedicated to promoting the academic study of religion.” The Academy meets annually and its members share research and work together on projects. With “over 8,000 members who teach in some 1,500 colleges, universities, seminaries, and schools in North America and abroad,” the AAR is “dedicated to furthering knowledge of religion and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations.”