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Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the United States, with adherents estimated in the several millions. But what exactly defines a "Buddhist"? This has been a much-debated question in recent years, particularly in regard to the religion's bifurcation into two camps: the so-called "imported" or ethnic Buddhism of Asian immigrants and the "convert" Buddhism of a mostly middle-class, liberal, intellectual elite.
In this timely collection Charles S. Prebish and Kenneth K. Tanaka bring together some of the leading voices in Buddhist studies to examine the debates surrounding contemporary Buddhism's many faces.
The contributors investigate newly Americanized Asian traditions such as Tibetan, Zen, Nichiren, Jodo Shinshu, and Theravada Buddhism and the changes they undergo to meet the expectations of a Western culture desperate for spiritual guidance. Race, feminism, homosexuality, psychology, environmentalism, and notions of authority are some of the issues confronting Buddhism for the first time in its three-thousand-year history and are powerfully addressed here.
In recent years American Buddhism has been featured as a major story on ABC television news, National Public Radio, and in other national media. A strong new Buddhist journalism is emerging in the United States, and American Buddhism has made its way onto the Internet. The faces of Buddhism in America are diverse, active, and growing, and this book will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding this vital religious movement.
|In Memoriam: Reverend Dr. Yehan Numata 1897-1994|
|Pt. 1||American Buddhist Traditions in Transition|
|1||Chinese Buddhism in America: Identity and Practice||13|
|2||Shin Buddhism in America: A Social Perspective||31|
|3||Japanese Zen in America: Americanizing the Face in the Mirror||49|
|4||Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai in America: The Pioneer Spirit||79|
|5||Tibetan Buddhism in America: The Development of American Vajrayana||99|
|6||Korean Buddhism in America: A New Style of Zen||117|
|7||Vietnamese Buddhism in North America: Tradition and Acculturation||129|
|8||Theravada Buddhism in America: Prospects for the Sangha||147|
|9||Insight Meditation in the United States: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness||163|
|Pt. 2||Issues in American Buddhism|
|10||Who Is a Buddhist? Charting the Landscape of Buddhist America||183|
|11||Divided Dharma: White Buddhists, Ethnic Buddhists, and Racism||196|
|12||Americanizing the Buddha: Paul Carus and the Transformation of Asian Thought||207|
|13||Buddhist and Western Psychotherapies: An Asian American Perspective||228|
|14||Helping the Iron Bird Fly: Western Buddhist Women and Issues of Authority in the Late 1990s||238|
|15||Coming Out in the Sangha: Queer Community in American Buddhism||253|
|16||Responding to the Cries of the World: Socially Engaged Buddhism in North America||266|
|Epilogue: The Colors and Contours of American Buddhism||287|
|List of Illustrations||349|