The Holy Madmen of Tibet

A book cover.David M. DiValerio. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Contrary to the popular image of Buddhist monks as sober, contemplative quietists, DiValerio shows “The Holy Madmen of Tibet” engaging in behavior that appears calculated to shock and disgust. The historian looks broadly at the peculiar Tibetan “mad monks,” but pays particular attention to the 15th and 16th centuries, when three of their most famous and revered members flourished. His work is based on a wealth of contemporary and historical Tibetan literature, much of which had been previously untapped by researchers.