Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History

Overview


Asian religions have a long and intriguing history in America. For over two centuries, Asian immigrants have been coming to America and bringing their religions with them. Some Americans have reacted with alarm to the arrival of heathen religions on American shores, while others have taken refuge in lamas from Tibet, yogis from India, and Zen masters from Japan.
Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History is the first text to show the breadth and depth of the American ...
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Overview


Asian religions have a long and intriguing history in America. For over two centuries, Asian immigrants have been coming to America and bringing their religions with them. Some Americans have reacted with alarm to the arrival of heathen religions on American shores, while others have taken refuge in lamas from Tibet, yogis from India, and Zen masters from Japan.
Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History is the first text to show the breadth and depth of the American encounter with Asian religions. Ranging from 1784 to the present, it features over one hundred excerpts and dozens of illustrations drawn from literature, art, music, sports, philosophy, theology, politics, and law. Selections discuss Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Shinto, Confucianism, and Taoism and their places in the American religious landscape. Martial artist Bruce Lee, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, Beatles star John Lennon, Chinese-American writer Amy Tan, African-American activist Frederick Douglass, Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, and dozens of lesser-known immigrants and Asian Americans are all represented. The editors have provided a general historical introduction, an overview of Asian religions, four section introductions, and concise explanatory headnotes for each entry. The volume is further enhanced by helpful reference materials including a detailed chronology, suggestions for further reading, and an index.
Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History serves as an exceptional text for courses in Asian religions, world religions, and religion in America, and is also enlightening reading for academics and general readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195113389
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/3/1998
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Boston University

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Table of Contents

Preface
General Introduction 1
Introduction to Asian Religions 13
Pt. I Orientations, 1784 to 1840
1 Views from Abroad
A Narrative of Voyages and Travels (1817) 29
An Account of the Sikhs in India (1814) 32
Robert Morrison's Letter from China (1809) 35
A Mission in Burma (1832) 38
2 Views from Home
Benjamin Franklin's Oriental Tale (1788) 43
A Comparison of the Institutions of Moses with Those of the Hindoos and Other Ancient Nations (1799) 44
John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (1813-14) 48
William Bentley on Asian Trade in Salem (1794-1804) 51
A Dictionary of All Religions (1817) 54
Religious Ceremonies and Customs (1836) 57
Pt. II Encounters, 1840 to 1924
3 East to America: Immigrant Landings
Our Composite Nationality (1869) 67
The Confucian Sage and the Mongolian Bible (1876) 70
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) 73
Pagan Temples in San Francisco (1892) 75
Buddhism in the Kingdom of Liberty (1899) 78
The Picturesque Immigrant from India's Coral Strand (1909) 82
Christ and Oriental Ideals (1923) 86
United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) 88
4 Romancing the Orient: Literary Encounters
Brahma and Plato (1857, 1850) 92
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849) 95
The Heathen Chinee (1870) 98
Passage to India (1870) 100
The Waste Land (1922) 106
5 Journeys in the Study
Webster's Dictionary on Hinduism and Buddhism (1828, 1849, 1864) 110
The Progress of Religious Ideas (1855) 111
Ten Great Religions (1871) 114
6 Postcards for the Pews: Missionaries and their Critics
An American Missionary in Japan (1892) 119
The United States of Lyncherdom (1901) 121
Is Buddhism to Blame? (1902) 123
7 The World's Parliament of Religions
Words of Welcome (1893) 127
Hinduism (1893) 130
The World's Debt to Buddha (1893) 133
Reply to a Christian Critic (1896) 137
8 Turning East: Sympathizers and Converts
Old Diary Leaves and The Buddhist Catechism (1900, 1881) 141
Memories of Swami Vivekanda (1945) 145
The Dharma (1898) 148
Insight into the Far East (1925) 151
William Sturgis Bigelow to Kwanryo Naobayashi (1895) 154
Pt. III Exclusion, 1924 to 1965
9 Closed Ports and Open Camps
Asian Exclusion Act (1924) 163
Executive Order 9066 (1942) 164
Like a Dream, Like a Fantasy (1978) 166
Memoirs of a Buddhist Woman Missionary in Hawaii (1991) 169
Wartime Buddhist Liturgy (1940s) 172
10 Hindu Crossings: Gurus and Disciples
My Brief Career as a Yogi (1941) 178
Autobiography of a Yogi (1946) 181
The Turning Point (1975) 185
What Vedanta Means to Me (1960) 187
11 Buddhist Crossings: Masters and Students
What is Zen? (1959) 191
Followers of Buddha: An American Brotherhood (1934) 193
Dharma Bums (1958) 196
Zen: A Method for Religious Awakening (1959) 200
Entry into the Dharma Gate (1994) 203
12 Artists, Preachers, and Missionaries
The Christ of the Indian Road (1925) 209
The Indian Menace (1929) 212
Howard and Sue Bailey Thurman Meet Mahatma Gandhi (1936) 215
Lecture on Nothing (1949) 218
Pt. IV Passages, 1965 to the Present
13 Countercultural Appropriations
Beginning a Counterculture (1972) 229
The Buddha as Drop-Out (1968) 232
The Only Dance There Is (1974) 235
14 Asian Indian Gurus, Converts, and Movements
A TM Catechism (1975) 241
Search for Liberation (1981) 244
Awakening the Mind to Prayer (1984) 248
An Experience of Siddha Yoga Meditation (1991) 251
Integral Yoga (1996) 253
Sai Baba and the Resurrection of Walter Cowan (1976) 257
15 Buddhist Teachers, Converts, and Movements
Posture (1970) 261
Mediation in Action (1969) 264
The Miracle of Mindfulness (1975) 268
An Interview with Roshi Jiyu Kennett (1986) 270
Women, Buddhism, and Vipassana Meditation (1991) 274
Waking Up to Racism (1994) 277
Soka Gakkai and the Power of Chanting (1996) 281
Recipes for Social Change (1996) 285
16 Asian Indian Immigrants: Hindu, Jain, and Sikh
The Pilgrimage (1994) 289
Rituals at Sri Venkateswara Temple (1995) 294
Recounting History and Nurturing Youth (1985-95) 299
Hinduism in the Public Realm: Hinduism Today on Christianity and Cloning (1996) 303
An Ancient Heritage and a Promising Future (1993) 309
Things That Make You Ask "Kion"? (1994) 312
17 Buddhist Immigrants
The Buddha's Birthday in a Vietnamese-American Temple (1986) 315
The Dalai Lama Meets the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California (1989) 319
Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara's Tenth Anniversary (1990) 322
Later Generations of Japanese Americans on Jodo Shinshu (1990) 324
DJ or Not We're Still Upset (1994) 328
Buddhism Coming to the West (1997) 331
18 Asian Religions in Popular and Elite Culture
Tao of Jeet Kune Do (1975) 335
The Tao of Pooh (1982) 339
Smokey the Bear Sutra (1969) 342
An Interview with Composer Philip Glass (1991) 345
Boddhisattva Vow (1994) 349
Children Responding to Little Buddha (1994) 351
If You Meet the Buddha in the Lane, Feed Him the Ball (1995) 353
The Kitchen God's Wife (1991) 357
19 Interreligious Dialogue
Letter from Asia (1968) 362
Buddhist-Christian Dialogue (1981) 365
The Jew in the Lotus (1994) 369
The Parliament of the World's Religions Centennial (1993) 371
The Kingdom of the Cults (1985) 376
20 Mapping Legal Boundaries: Religion and State
Asian Religions According to the Supreme Court (1965) 378
Even Buddhist Prisoners Have Rights (1972) 381
The Krishna Religion (1992) 383
Sikh Kirpans in Public Schools (1994) 385
A Vietnamese Home Temple Zoning Dispute (1996) 388
Chronology 392
Further Reading 402
Index 407
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