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
What does it mean to be a Western Buddhist? For the predominantly Anglo-Australian affiliates of two Western Buddhist centres in Australia, the author proposes an answer to this question, and finds support for it from interviews and her own participant-observation experience.Practitioners' prior experiences of experimentation with spiritual groups and practices-and their experiences of participation, practice and self-transformation-are examined with respect to their roles in practitioners' appropriation of the Buddhist worldview, and their subsequent commitment to the path to enlightenment.Religious commitment is experienced as a decision-point, itself the effect of the individual's experimental immersion in the Centre's activities.During this time the claims of the Buddhist worldview are tested against personal experience and convictions. Using rich ethnographic data and Lofland and Skonovd's experimental conversion motif as a model for theorizing the stages of involvement leading to commitment, the author demonstrates that this study has a wider application to our understanding of the role of alternative religions in western contexts.
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.
"Like seeds on the wind, Buddhist teachings continue to reach new lands. This outstanding book brings to light, in rich detail, the current flowering of Buddhism in the West. Long a world religion, Buddhism is now a global one."—Kenneth Kraft, author of The Wheel of Engaged Buddhism "Westward Dharma deserves a place on the growing bookshelf of contemporary Buddhist studies. Prebish and Baumann broaden our horizons from North America to the wider Western world, exploring key aspects of Buddhism's most recent geographical and cultural expansion."—Paul David Numrich, coauthor of Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America.
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.
The first multi-author collection of social scientific scholarship on North American Buddhists, this volume examines the current state of research and key aspects of Buddhist life and experience in social context. Case studies feature Southeast Asian, Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, meditation-oriented, and socially engaged Buddhists.
First ever collection of histories of American sociology of religion, including accounts of early dissertations changes in theory, and studies of denominations, globalization, feminism, new religions and Latino/a American religion.
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.
Rich in primary sources and featuring contributions from scholars on both sides of the Pacific, Issei Buddhism in the Americas upends boundaries and categories that have tied Buddhism to Asia and illuminates the social and spiritual role that the religion has played in the Americas. While Buddhists in Japan had long described the migration of the religion as traveling from India, across Asia, and ending in Japan, this collection details the movement of Buddhism across the Pacific to the Americas. Leading the way were pioneering, first-generation Issei priests and their followers who established temples, shared Buddhist teachings, and converted non-Buddhists in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book explores these pioneering efforts in the context of Japanese diasporic communities and immigration history and the early history of Buddhism in the Americas. The result is a dramatic exploration of the history of Asian immigrant religion that encompasses such topics as Japanese language instruction in Hawaiian schools, the Japanese Canadian community in British Columbia, the roles of Buddhist song culture, Tenriyko ministers in America, and Zen Buddhism in Brazil. Contributors are Michihiro Ama, Noriko Asato, Masako Iino, Tomoe Moriya, Lori Pierce, Cristina Rocha, Keiko Wells, Duncan Ryûken Williams, and Akihiro Yamakura.
This book advances a serious consideration of how the goals and practices of psychology can be informed and enriched by Buddhist traditions that transcend the individual to consider the interconnectedness of all things, and the responsibility we have towards the other. Individualistic and psychotherapeutic applications of Buddhism in psychology are examined, followed by a bold step into the community arena, with consideration given to the intersection between community psychology and Buddhist approaches to empowerment, social change, and prevention.
The Buddhist World joins a series of books on the world’s great religions and cultures, offering a lively and up-to-date survey of Buddhist studies for students and scholars alike. It explores regional varieties of Buddhism and core topics including buddha-nature, ritual, and pilgrimage. In addition to historical and geo-political views of Buddhism, the volume features thematic chapters on philosophical concepts such as ethics, as well as social constructs and categories such as community and family. The book also addresses lived Buddhism in its many forms, examining the ways in which modernity is reshaping traditional structures, ancient doctrines, and cosmological beliefs.