This is the first scholarly treatment of the emergence of American Buddhist Studies as a significant research field. Until now, few investigators have turned their attention to the interpretive challenge posed by the presence of all the traditional lineages of Asian Buddhism in a consciously multicultural society. Nor have scholars considered the place of their own contributions as writers, teachers, and practising Buddhists in this unfolding saga. In thirteen chapters and a critical introduction to the field, the book treats issues such as Asian American Buddhist identity, the new Buddhism, Buddhism and American culture, and the scholar's place in American Buddhist Studies. The volume offers complete lists of dissertations and theses on American Buddhism and North American dissertations and theses on topics related to Buddhism since 1892.
While academic and popular studies of Buddhism have often neglected race as a factor of analysis, the issues concerning race and racialization have remained not far below the surface of the wider discussion among ethnic Buddhists, converts, and sympathizers regarding representations of American Buddhism and adaptations of Buddhist practices to the American context. In Race and Religion in American Buddhism, Joseph Cheah provides a much-needed contribution to the field of religious studies by addressing the under-theorization of race in the study of American Buddhism. Through the lens of racial formation, Cheah demonstrates how adaptations of Buddhist practices by immigrants, converts and sympathizers have taken place within an environment already permeated with the logic and ideology of whiteness and white supremacy. In other words, race and religion (Buddhism) are so intimately bounded together in the United States that the ideology of white supremacy informs the differing ways in which convert Buddhists and sympathizers and Burmese ethnic Buddhists have adapted Buddhist religious practices to an American context. Cheah offers a complex view of how the Burmese American community must negotiate not only the religious and racial terrains of the United States but also the transnational reach of the Burmese junta. Race and Religion in American Buddhism marks an important contribution to the study of American Buddhism as well as to the larger fields of U.S. religions and Asian American studies.
The editors bring some of the leading voices in Buddhist studies to examine the debates surrounding contemporary Buddhism's many faces. Race, feminism, homosexuality, psychology, environmentalism, and notions of authority are some of the issues confronting the religion today. 9 photos.
In this landmark work, Thomas Tweed examines nineteenth-century America's encounter with one of the world's major religions. Exploring the debates about Buddhism that followed upon its introduction in this country, Tweed shows what happened when the transplanted religious movement came into contact with America's established culture and fundamentally different Protestant tradition. The book, first published in 1992, traces the efforts of various American interpreters to make sense of Buddhism in Western terms. Tweed demonstrates that while many of those interested in Buddhism considered themselves dissenters from American culture, they did not abandon some of the basic values they shared with their fellow Victorians. In the end, the Victorian understanding of Buddhism, even for its most enthusiastic proponents, was significantly shaped by the prevailing culture. Although Buddhism attracted much attention, it ultimately failed to build enduring institutions or gain significant numbers of adherents in the nineteenth century. Not until the following century did a cultural environment more conducive to Buddhism's taking root in America develop. In a new preface, Tweed addresses Buddhism's growing influence in contemporary American culture.
Over the past half century in America, Buddhism has grown from a transplanted philosophy to a full-fledged religious movement, rich in its own practices, leaders, adherents, and institutions. Long favored as an essential guide to this history, Buddhism in America covers the three major groups that shape the tradition—an emerging Asian immigrant population, native-born converts, and old-line Asian American Buddhists—and their distinct, yet spiritually connected efforts to remake Buddhism in a Western context. This edition updates existing text and adds three new essays on contemporary developments in American Buddhism, particularly the aging of the baby boom population and its effect on American Buddhism's modern character. New material includes revised information on the full range of communities profiled in the first edition; an added study of a second generation of young, Euro-American leaders and teachers; an accessible look at the increasing importance of meditation and neurobiological research; and a provocative consideration of the mindfulness movement in American culture. The volume maintains its detailed account of South and East Asian influences on American Buddhist practices, as well as instances of interreligious dialogue, socially activist Buddhism, and complex gender roles within the community. Introductory chapters describe Buddhism's arrival in America with the nineteenth-century transcendentalists and rapid spread with the Beat poets of the 1950s. The volume now concludes with a frank assessment of the challenges and prospects of American Buddhism in the twenty-first century.
In America today, for the first time in world history, every major form of Buddhism is practiced in one nation. Buddhist Faith in America describes how this ancient faith has been as deeply affected by America as America has been affected by it.
Explores facets of North American Buddhism while taking into account the impact of globalization and increasing interconnectivity. Buddhism beyond Borders provides a fresh consideration of Buddhism in the American context. It includes both theoretical discussions and case studies to highlight the tension between studies that locate Buddhist communities in regionally specific areas and those that highlight the translocal nature of an increasingly interconnected world. Whereas previous examinations of Buddhism in North America have assumed a more or less essentialized and homogeneous “American” culture, the essays in this volume offer a corrective, situating American Buddhist groups within the framework of globalized cultural flows, while exploring the effects of local forces. Contributors examine regionalism within American Buddhisms, Buddhist identity and ethnicity as academic typologies, Buddhist modernities, the secularization and hybridization of Buddhism, Buddhist fiction, and Buddhist controversies involving the Internet, among other issues.
Buddhist Studies from India to America covers four important areas of Buddhist Studies: Vinaya Studies and Ethics, the history of Buddhist schools, Western Buddhism, and Inter-religious dialogue. These are the main areas which Charles S. Prebish has either inaugurated or helped to define; and his academic career as a leading, international scholar, and his significant professional achievements are celebrated within this volume. The geographical and historical scope of the essays in this collection range from ancient India to modern America, and includes contributions by well-known international scholars. The contributors discuss a variety of academic disciplines including philosophy, psychology, history, feminism, and sociology. It will appeal to scholars whose interests embrace either ancient or modern aspects of the Buddhist tradition.