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.
"Since the 1960s Buddhism in America has been viewed through the lens of idealism, generally associated with the spiritual quest of baby boomers. This portrayal has been accurate only to a degree. Charles Prebish's Luminous Passage is the first account in a new generation of commentary to demonstrate the complexity and variety of this tradition as it establishes roots in this country. This book will surely stand as one of the most comprehensive assessments of Buddhism in the United States at the turn of the millennium."—Richard Seager, Hamilton College
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.
Buddhism in America provides the most comprehensive and up to date survey of the diverse landscape of US Buddhist traditions, their history and development, and current methodological trends in the study of Buddhism in the West, located within the translocal flow of global Buddhist culture. Divided into three parts (Histories; Traditions; Frames), this introduction traces Buddhism's history and encounter with North American culture, charts the landscape of US Buddhist communities, and engages current methodological and theoretical developments in the field. The volume includes: - A short introduction to Buddhism - A historical survey from the 19th century to the present - Coverage of contemporary US Buddhist communities, including Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Theoretical and methodological issues and debates covered include: - Social, political and environmental engagement - Race, feminist, and queer theories of Buddhism - Secular Buddhism, digital Buddhism, and modernity - Popular culture, media, and the arts Pedagogical tools include chapter summaries, discussion questions, images and maps, a glossary, and case studies. The book's website provides recommended further resources including websites, books and films, organized by chapter. With individual chapters which can stand on their own and be assigned out of sequence, Buddhism in America is the ideal resource for courses on Buddhism in America, American Religious History, and Introduction to Buddhism.
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.
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.
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.
This expanded edition of the highly acclaimed investigation of Zen teaching in America, by the founder and editor of America's first Buddhist magazine, lays bare the issues at the heart of the Zen mission. Through in-depth portraits of five American Zen masters, Tworkov creates a trenchant sociological picture of an important strand of American spiritual life. 27 photos.