Cover image for The faces of Buddhism in America
Title:
The faces of Buddhism in America
Author:
Prebish, Charles S.
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
viii, 370 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Chinese Buddhism in America: identity and practice / Shin Buddhism in America: a social perspective / Japanese Zen in America: Americanizing the face in the mirror / Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai in America: the pioneer spirit / Tibetan Buddhism in America: the development of American Vajrayana / Korean Buddhism in America: a new style of Zen / Vietnamese Buddhism in North America: tradition and acculturation / Theravada Buddhism in America: prospects for the Sangha / Insight meditation in the United States: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness / Who is a Buddhist? Charting the landscape of Buddhist America / Divided dharma: white Buddhists, ethnic Buddhists, and racism / Americanizing the Buddha: Paul Carus and the transformation of Asian thought / Buddhist and Western psychotherapies: an Asian American perspective / Helping the iron bird fly: Western Buddhist women and issues of authority in the late 1990s / Coming out in the Sangha: queer community in American Buddhism / Responding to the cries of the world: socially engaged Buddhism in North America
ISBN:
9780520204607

9780520213012
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library BQ736 .F33 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Kenmore Library BQ736 .F33 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Lancaster Library BQ736 .F33 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

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.


Summary

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.


Author Notes

Charles S. Prebish is Associate Professor of Religion at Pennsylvania State University and author and editor of numerous works, including American Buddhism and Buddhist Monastic Discipline . He is currently coeditor of the electronic Journal of Buddhist Ethics . Kenneth K. Tanaka is Professor of Buddhist Studies at the Institute for Buddhist Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and the author of Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism in America (1997). He is president of the Buddhist Council of Northern California.


Charles S. Prebish is Associate Professor of Religion at Pennsylvania State University and author and editor of numerous works, including American Buddhism and Buddhist Monastic Discipline . He is currently coeditor of the electronic Journal of Buddhist Ethics . Kenneth K. Tanaka is Professor of Buddhist Studies at the Institute for Buddhist Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and the author of Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism in America (1997). He is president of the Buddhist Council of Northern California.


Reviews 4

Library Journal Review

This excellent collection of essays touching on all of the diverse manifestations of Buddhism in contemporary America is especially useful in covering traditions that receive less attention elsewhere. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Editors Prebish (Pennsylvania State Univ.) and Tanaka (Graduate Theological Union) have put together a timely and first-rate collection of essays. The first part of their book deals with the experience of Buddhist traditions and schools imported into America (Zen, Pure Land, Tibetan, and Therav~din, among others). The second part discusses special issues of American Buddhism (including the place of women and gays and the emergence of socially engaged Buddhism). Many of the essays, one way or another, touch on the fact that traditional Asian Buddhism has been monastic, male-dominated, and hierarchical. Most Americans, by contrast, are not attracted to the monastic life, do believe in gender equality, and are suspicious of ecclesiastical authority. Buddhist schools (some Zen groups, for instance) that have found a place for lay leadership, male and female, have made a number of American converts, while those (most Therav~dins) that have held fast to traditional forms of monasticism have been struggling in the US. Highly recommended for any library that maintains a collection on religious or Buddhist studies. All readership levels. D. Temple Roosevelt University


Library Journal Review

This excellent collection of essays touching on all of the diverse manifestations of Buddhism in contemporary America is especially useful in covering traditions that receive less attention elsewhere. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Editors Prebish (Pennsylvania State Univ.) and Tanaka (Graduate Theological Union) have put together a timely and first-rate collection of essays. The first part of their book deals with the experience of Buddhist traditions and schools imported into America (Zen, Pure Land, Tibetan, and Therav~din, among others). The second part discusses special issues of American Buddhism (including the place of women and gays and the emergence of socially engaged Buddhism). Many of the essays, one way or another, touch on the fact that traditional Asian Buddhism has been monastic, male-dominated, and hierarchical. Most Americans, by contrast, are not attracted to the monastic life, do believe in gender equality, and are suspicious of ecclesiastical authority. Buddhist schools (some Zen groups, for instance) that have found a place for lay leadership, male and female, have made a number of American converts, while those (most Therav~dins) that have held fast to traditional forms of monasticism have been struggling in the US. Highly recommended for any library that maintains a collection on religious or Buddhist studies. All readership levels. D. Temple Roosevelt University


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