In Race and Religion in American Buddhism, Joseph Cheah examines how the racial ideology of white supremacy has been played out in the two different ways by which convert Buddhists and sympathizers, and Burmese ethnic Buddhists have adapted Buddhist religious practices to the American context.
This book analyzes Buddhist discussions of the Aryan myth and scientific racism and the ways in which this conversation reshaped Buddhism in the United States, and globally. The book traces the development of notions of Aryanism in Buddhism through Buddhist publications from 1899-1957, focusing on this so-called "yellow peril," or historical racist views in the United States of an Asian "other." During this time period in America, the Aryan myth was considered to be scientific fact, and Buddhists were able to capitalize on this idea throughout a global publishing network of books, magazines, and academic work which helped to transform the presentation of Buddhism into the "Aryan religion." Following narratives regarding colonialism and the development of the Aryan myth, Buddhists challenged these dominant tropes: they combined emic discussions about the "Aryan" myth and comparisons of Buddhism and science, in order to disprove colonial tropes of "Western" dominance, and suggest that Buddhism represented a superior tradition in world historical development. The author argues that this presentation of a Buddhist tradition of superiority helped to create space for Buddhism within the American religious landscape. The book will be of interest to academics working on Buddhism, race and religion, and American religious history.
Nautilus Book Award Gold Recipient. Leading African American Buddhist teachers offer lessons on racism, resilience, spiritual freedom, and the possibility of a truly representative American Buddhism. With contributions by Acharya Gaylon Ferguson, Cheryl A. Giles, Gyōzan Royce Andrew Johnson, Ruth King, Kamilah Majied, Lama Rod Owens, Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips, Sebene Selassie, and Pamela Ayo Yetunde. What does it mean to be Black and Buddhist? In this powerful collection of writings, African American teachers from all the major Buddhist traditions tell their stories of how race and Buddhist practice have intersected in their lives. The resulting explorations display not only the promise of Buddhist teachings to empower those facing racial discrimination but also the way that Black Buddhist voices are enriching the Dharma for all practitioners. As the first anthology comprised solely of writings by African-descended Buddhist practitioners, this book is an important contribution to the development of the Dharma in the West.
How tech giants are reshaping spirituality to serve their religion of peak productivity Silicon Valley is known for its lavish perks, intense work culture, and spiritual gurus. Work Pray Code explores how tech companies are bringing religion into the workplace in ways that are replacing traditional places of worship, blurring the line between work and religion and transforming the very nature of spiritual experience in modern life. Over the past forty years, highly skilled workers have been devoting more time and energy to their jobs than ever before. They are also leaving churches, synagogues, and temples in droves—but they have not abandoned religion. Carolyn Chen spent more than five years in Silicon Valley, conducting a wealth of in-depth interviews and gaining unprecedented access to the best and brightest of the tech world. The result is a penetrating account of how work now satisfies workers’ needs for belonging, identity, purpose, and transcendence that religion once met. Chen argues that tech firms are offering spiritual care such as Buddhist-inspired mindfulness practices to make their employees more productive, but that our religious traditions, communities, and public sphere are paying the price. We all want our jobs to be meaningful and fulfilling. Work Pray Code reveals what can happen when work becomes religion, and when the workplace becomes the institution that shapes our souls.
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History brings together a number of established scholars, as well as younger scholars on the rise, to provide a scholarly overview for those interested in the role of religion and race in American history. Thirty-four scholars from the fields of History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, and more investigate the complex interdependencies of religion and race from pre-Columbian origins to the present. The volume addresses the religious experience, social realities, theologies, and sociologies of racialized groups in American religious history, as well as the ways that religious myths, institutions, and practices contributed to their racialization. Part One begins with a broad introductory survey outlining some of the major terms and explaining the intersections of race and religions in various traditions and cultures across time. Part Two provides chronologically arranged accounts of specific historical periods that follow a narrative of religion and race through four-plus centuries. Taken together, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History provides a reliable scholarly text and resource to summarize and guide work in this subject, and to help make sense of contemporary issues and dilemmas.
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 Envisioning Religion, Race, and Asian Americans, David K. Yoo and Khyati Y. Joshi put together a wide-ranging and important collection of essays documenting the intersections of race and religion and Asian American communities—a combination so often missing both in the scholarly literature and in public discourse. Issues of religion and race/ethnicity undergird current national debates around immigration, racial profiling, and democratic freedoms, but these issues, as the contributors document, are longstanding ones in the United States. The essays included in the volume feature dimensions of traditions such as Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism as well as how religion engages with topics such as religious affiliation (or lack thereof), the legacy of the Vietnam War, and popular culture. The contributors also address the role of survey data, pedagogy, methodology, and literature that is richly complementary and necessary for understanding the scope and range of the subject of Asian American religions. These essays attest to the vibrancy and diversity of Asian American religions, while at the same time situating these conversations in a scholarly lineage and discourse. This collection will certainly serve as an invaluable resource for scholars, students, and general readers with interests in Asian American religions in fields such as ethnic and Asian American studies, religious studies, American studies, and related fields that focus on immigration and race.
Foreword / by John Esposito -- Introduction -- When American racism quashes religious freedom -- The color of religion -- Racialization of Jews, Catholics, and Mormons in the twentieth century -- From Protestant to Judeo-Christian : the expansion of American whiteness -- Social construction of the racial Muslim -- American orientalism and the Arab terrorist trope -- Fighting terrorism, not religion -- Officiating Islamophobia -- Criminalizing Muslim identity -- The future of the racial Muslim and religious freedom in America -- Conclusion.
A resource ideal for students as well as general readers, this two-volume encyclopedia examines the diversity of the Asian American and Pacific Islander spiritual experience. • Covers both common motifs in Asian American religious culture, such as Chinese New Year festivals and mortuary rituals, as well as many newly established faith traditions • Contains entries on rarely addressed topics within Asian American religion, such as Hezhen Shamanism
This book focuses on the problem of religious diversity, civil dialogue, and religion education in public schools, exploring the ways in which atheists, secularists, fundamentalists, and mainstream religionists come together in the public sphere, examining how civil discourse about religion fit swithin the ideals of the American political and pedagogical systems and how religious studies education can help to foster civility and toleration.