What is the relationship between religion and politics? This course examines the meanings of, and interactions between religion and politics in the case of Tibet and its long term relationship with China. As a theocracy (religious government) and under Chinese Communist rule, the politicization of religion was (and still is) a common occurrence in Tibetan regions. By examining historical and scriptural texts, political documents, and current events, this course explores how Tibet becomes a site of political contestation, a tool for the preservation and commodification of religious-cultural identity, and a space for political conflict in China and the West. Specific areas of interest include reincarnation lineages, religious governance, H.H. the Dalai Lama, subjugation and consecration rituals, sacred landscape, cultural assimilation, sinicization of Tibetan practices, and cultural commercialization and commodification.