Jigme Wangchuk, an 11-year-old boy based in Boston, was today enthroned near Darjeeling [in India] as the reincarnation of Gyalwa Lorepa, a monk who passed away in 1250 AD. . .I mentioned at the start of the quarter that there has been little effort in the economics of religion to study eastern religions. Anyone want to take a stab at this one? Can you give a good economics explanation for this practice of identifying reincarnated monks? Other comments are welcome, too.
The fifth-grader from Boston’s St Peter’s School will now have to spend the rest of his life at the Druk-Sa-Ngag Choeling monastery at Dali, 3km from Darjeeling. He can visit Boston later in his life but to deliver discourses. If he badly misses his friends back in the US — he is an American citizen now — he can speak to them but the conversation cannot be as carefree as what 11-year-olds usually indulge in. . .
The reincarnate touched upon some things he has left behind. “It is a big transition, and yes, I do miss being a joyful schoolboy and my friends, my home, my grandparents, aunts and uncles.”
The rinpoche added later: “In fact, I already miss them” but took solace in the fact that his parents had moved to Darjeeling to serve him.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
A reincarnated monk as a challenge to the economics of religion
Every so often we come across something in the world of religion which seems beyond the scope of the economic approach to religion. Consider excerpts from this Telegraph article from last week: