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The Lama QuestionViolence, Sovereignty, and Exception in Early Socialist Mongolia$
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Christopher Kaplonski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838560

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838560.001.0001

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Closed and Destroyed Monasteries

Closed and Destroyed Monasteries

The Aftermath

(p.203) Chapter 10 Closed and Destroyed Monasteries
The Lama Question

Christopher Kaplonski

University of Hawai'i Press

With the arrest, trial, and execution of the Yonzon Hamba and his codefendants, the final technology of exception moved into high gear, and by July 1938, less than nine months later, the monasteries had been largely emptied. This chapter looks at the time-line of arrests and closure of the monasteries, as well as the disposal of monastic property by the state. In doing so, it draws attention to the ad hoc nature of the closures. While it is usually asserted that the closures had been long planned by the Soviets, internal documentation among the Council of Ministers, security services, and other concerned parties and individuals suggests another story. It is not until the summer of 1938 that we begin to see explicit concern over what to do with the empty monasteries and how the public would react.

Keywords:   political violence, state of exception, Mongolia, political anthropology, Buddhism, socialism

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