North American Buddhists in Social Context


Volume Editor:
This volume marks an important milestone in the growing literature on North American Buddhists—the first multi-author collection of social scientific scholarship on the topic. Chapters examine the current state of research and key aspects of Buddhist life and experience in social context, including group identity and status, religious practices, organizational structures, generational dynamics, relations with non-Buddhist groups and the larger society, and migratory and adaptive processes. Case studies feature Southeast Asian, Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, meditation-oriented, and socially engaged Buddhists. For social scientists, this volume provides a convenient overview of scholarship heretofore available only piecemeal. All readers will discover how social scientific perspectives and approaches helpfully inform the study of North American Buddhists.

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Paul David Numrich, Ph.D. (1992) in Religion, Northwestern University, is Chair of the Program in World Religions and Inter-Religious Dialogue, Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus, and Affiliate Research Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Loyola University Chicago.
Preface: On the Being of Not Being
William H. Swatos, Jr.
1. North American Buddhists: A Field of Study?
Paul David Numrich
2. Themes and Issues in the Study of North American
Buddhists and Buddhism

Janet McLellan
3. Temple and Society in the New World: Theravada
Buddhism and Social Order in North America

Carl L. Bankston III and Danielle Antoinette Hidalgo
4. The Buddhist Mission of North America 1898–1942:
Religion and Its Social Functions in an Ethnic Community

Arthur Nishimura
5. Japanese American Religiosity: A Contemporary Perspective
Tetsuden Kashima
6. “True Buddhism is Not Chinese”: Taiwanese Immigrants
Defi ning Buddhist Identity in the United States

Carolyn Chen
7. A Religious Minority within an Ethnic Minority: Korean
American Buddhists

Karen Chai Kim
8. The Emergence of a New Buddhism: Continuity and

James William Coleman
9. Soka Gakkai: Engaged Buddhism in North America
Constance Lynn Geekie
Afterword: Modernization, Globalization, and Buddhism
Joseph B. Tamney

Both academic and general readers interested in the social context of the growing Buddhist population of the United States and Canada.
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