Buddhism in America / Edition 2

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Overview

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.

Columbia University Press

Silver Award: ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, Religion Category;

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for the previous edition:

"This well-informed book provides a comprehensive survey of a variety of Buddhist traditions in the contemporary U.S.... [Its] strength, apart from being a mine of information, is Seager's insistence on taking a historically informed and comparative perspective." -- Religious Studies Review

"This book cries out for use as a textbook for classes on Buddhism in America." -- The Journal of Religion

"Unbiased and insightful, Buddhism in America offers a view of how far the Buddhist movement has come in little more than a century and a peek at where it is going at the dawn of a new millennium." -- Tricycle

Columbia University Press

Paul David Numrich
Richard Seager marks out a magnificent road map, directing us to important people, places, and issues in multifaceted Buddhist America at the turn of the millennium. . . . Under Seager´s guidance we discover a great deal about the Buddhists of America, but also a great deal about the Americanization of Buddhism.
Stephen Prothero
The first comprehensive treatment of Buddhism in America to take seriously the experiences of immigrants, Buddhism in America is a fascinating road map to the contemporary Buddhist landscape, with Seager as the expert guide.
Jana Reiss
[Columbia University] Press continues to bring excellent scholarship to the general reader with this outstanding study of American Buddhism.
Don Morreale
Unbiased and insightful, [Buddhism in America] offers a view of how far the Buddhist movement has come in little more than a century and a peek at where it is going at the dawn of a new millennium.
Martin Baumann
This well-informed book provides a comprehensive survey of a variety of Buddhist traditions in the contemporary U.S. . . . [its] strength, apart from being a mine of information, is Seager's insistence on taking a historically informed and comparative perspective.
Franz Aubrey Metcalf
This book cries out for use as a textbook for classes on Buddhism in America.
Booknews
Seager religious studies, Hamilton College explores the rapid rise of the religion in the US among Asian immigrants, native-born converts, and old-line Asian Americans. After reviewing the history and beliefs, he profiles six traditions that have been transplanted from Japan, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere. He concludes with a treatment of Americanization, especially in gender equity, progressive social change, and dialogue between Buddhists and with other religions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
The Journal of Religion
This book cries out for use as a textbook for classes on Buddhism in America.

— Franz Aubrey Metcalf

Religious Studies Review
This well-informed book provides a comprehensive survey of a variety of Buddhist traditions in the contemporary U.S.... [its] strength, apart from being a mine of information, is Seager's insistence on taking a historically informed and comparative perspective.

— Martin Baumann

Tricycle
Unbiased and insightful, Buddhism in America offers a view of how far the Buddhist movement has come in little more than a century and a peek at where it is going at the dawn of a new millennium.

— Don Morreale

AASL PLA
Seager's account convincingly places developments within the broader context of the North American historyof religion and immigration. Apart from the perceptive observations and the straightforward structure, it is this contextualising perspective which gives the book its particular strength. Although clearly intended for a general readership, a specialist will nevertheless benefit from being directed to take the experience of 'immigrant Buddhism' as seriously as that of 'convert Buddhism'.
Paul David Numrich

Richard Seager marks out a magnificent road map, directing us to important people, places, and issues in multifaceted Buddhist America at the turn of the millennium.... Under Seager's guidance we discover a great deal about the Buddhists of America, but also a great deal about the Americanization of Buddhism.

PLA AASL

Seager's account convincingly places developments within the broader context of the North American historyof religion and immigration. Apart from the perceptive observations and the straightforward structure, it is this contextualising perspective which gives the book its particular strength. Although clearly intended for a general readership, a specialist will nevertheless benefit from being directed to take the experience of 'immigrant Buddhism' as seriously as that of 'convert Buddhism'.

The Journal of Religion - Franz Aubrey Metcalf

This book cries out for use as a textbook for classes on Buddhism in America.

Religious Studies Review - Martin Baumann

This well-informed book provides a comprehensive survey of a variety of Buddhist traditions in the contemporary U.S.... [its] strength, apart from being a mine of information, is Seager's insistence on taking a historically informed and comparative perspective.

Tricycle - Don Morreale

Unbiased and insightful, Buddhism in America offers a view of how far the Buddhist movement has come in little more than a century and a peek at where it is going at the dawn of a new millennium.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231159739
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/26/2012
  • Series: Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series
  • Edition description: Revised and Expanded Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,049,280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Hughes Seager is professor of religious studies at Hamilton College and the author of Encountering the Dharma; The World's Parliament of Religions: The East-West Encounter, Chicago, 1893; and Dawn of Religious Pluralism: Voices from the World's Parliament of Religions.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction

One: BackgroundIntroduction1. The American Buddhist Landscape2. Very Basic Buddhism3. The Three Vehicles4. The American Setting

Two: Major TraditionsIntroduction5. Jodo Shinshu: America's Old-Line Buddhists6. Soka Gakkai and Its Nichiren Humanism7. Zen and Its Flagship Institutions8. The Tibetan Milieu9. The Theravada Spectrum10. Other Pacific Rim Migrations

Three: Selected IssuesIntroduction11. Gender Equity12. Socially Engaged Buddhism13. Intra-Buddhist and Interreligious Dialogue14. Making Some Sense of Americanization

Columbia University Press

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