The Emperor and the Lama: A Walk and Discussion at the Lama Temple and the Confucian Temple
Yonghegong (Lama Temple) and the Confucian Temple are physical reflections of Buddhism and Confucianism respectively, but both these sites have also long played a role in state ritual and the ideology of empire.
At the Confucian Temple and the adjoining Imperial Academy, students, officials, and rulers came to venerate the Great Sage and to study for the examinations which were the gateway to power and elite status in imperial China.
At Yonghegong (The Lama Temple), we will consider how the emperors of the Qing Dynasty appropriated the forms of Tibetan Buddhism by consecrating a holy space in their capital even as their armies were steadily moving westward across the Tibetan Plateau. The historical connection between empire building and Buddhism in Tibet continues to have profound implications for the relationship between the government and the people of that region.
This walk will explore both sites and offer insight into the history of Confucianism and Indo-Tibetan Buddhism while exploring two of Beijing's most famous and celebrated historic sites.
Walk Duration: About three hours
Upcoming Public Walks at Yonghegong (Lama Temple) and Confucian Temple
300 RMB per person (260 RMB for members of The Hutong)
Price includes all guide fees and tickets
Consider a Private Tour!
Looking for a walk that fits your schedule? Interested in a personal experience for you or your group?
Private walks of Yonghegong (Lama Temple) and Confucian Temple are available for individuals, families, school and company groups.
Private walks are 1700 RMB for up to five people and 140 RMB for each additional person. Price includes all guide fees and admission tickets.
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Your Walk Leader
Jeremiah Jenne is a writer and historian based in Beijing since 2002. He has taught Late Imperial and Modern Chinese History at the IES Abroad Program for over 10 years and has written extensively on China for a number of publications including The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, Journal of Asian Studies, Asia Society/China File, Los Angeles Review of Books, Radii China, The Beijinger, and the World of Chinese. His work can be found in the anthologies China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance, The Insider’s Guide to Beijing, and the 2015 collection While We’re Here: China Stories from a Writer’s Colony. He is frequently asked to speak or lead workshops on Chinese history, culture, and cultural adaptation to schools, organizations, and company groups from around the world and is the proprietor of Beijing by Foot, which organizes educational programs and historic walking tours of Beijing’s most famous sites and hidden by-ways. You can follow him on Twitter @jeremiahjenne or online at jeremiahjenne.com.