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 neuro-biological 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 inter-religious 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 1950's. The volume now concludes with a frank assessment of the challenges and prospects of American Buddhism in the twenty-first century.
Buddhism in America, Richard Hughes Seager, Columbia University Press, Paperback, 384 pages, $25.00
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.
1. The American Buddhist Landscape
2. Very Basic Buddhism
3. The Three Vehicles
4. The American Setting
Two: Major Traditions
5. Jodo Shinshu: America's Old-Line Buddhists
6. Soka Gakkai and Its Nichiren Humanism
7. Zen and Its Flagship Institutions
8. The Tibetan Milieu
9. The Theravada Spectrum
10. Other Pacific Rim Migrations
Three: Selected Issues
11. Gender Equity
12. Socially Engaged Buddhism
13. Intra-Buddhist and Interreligious Dialogue
14. Making Some Sense of Americanization