Understanding Young Buddhists

Living out Ethical Journeys

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There is currently an acute lack of scholarly engagement with Buddhism and youth. Based on ground-breaking empirical research, Understanding Young Buddhists: Living out Ethical Journeys explores the stories of young Buddhists, through a rich analysis of their lived experiences. Page and Yip explore their journeying into Buddhism, their Buddhist belief and practice, their management of sexuality, and their social positioning in relation to family and kin, friendship networks, youth culture, and occupational aspirations. Using lived religion as a theoretical lens, and bringing into dialogue research on Buddhism and youth, Understanding Young Buddhists convincingly demonstrates the resourcefulness and creativity of young Buddhists in developing ethics for life, as they negotiate the diverse challenges and opportunities in their journeys of life.

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Sarah-Jane Page, Ph.D. (2010), University of Nottingham, is Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University. She has published extensively on religion in relation to gender and sexuality, in journals and edited collections. She co-wrote the monograph, Religious & Sexual Identities: A Multi-faith Exploration of Young Adults (Ashgate, 2013).
Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip, Ph.D. (1995), University of Surrey, is Professor of Sociology at University of Nottingham. He has published numerous monographs, edited volumes, and journal articles on religion and sexuality, including the co-authored Cosmopolitan Dharma: Race, Sexuality, and Gender in British Buddhism (Brill, 2016).
"One feature of the changing global religious landscape is the persistent fascination with Buddhism in the West. Sara-Jane Page and Andrew Yip's book addresses this through a sociological analysis of how young people in the West practice their Buddhist faith." - Tobias Brandner, Chinese University of Hong Kong, in: Mission Studies 34 (2017)
"I highly recommend this book for academic libraries, and for students of religious studies, the social sciences, anthropology, philosophy, ethics, and contemporary Euro-American culture. It will have an enduring place in the literature of contemporary religion." - F. Tedesco, Tampa Bay, Florida, in: Journal of Empirical Theology Volume 30 (2017)
"The book is an interesting read for anybody interested in Buddhism as lived by individuals in a 21st century context. Based on the insights of this study, interesting research questions can be constructed that can lead to more research on young adults within multi-religious and post-secular Western societies." - Mariske Westendorp, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands, in: Reading Religion, November 16, 2017
"Understanding Young Buddhists makes a significant contribution to the study of Buddhist youth and young religiosity more broadly. It is a valuable text for anyone with an interest in contemporary Buddhism, youth religiosity, youth sexuality, and the sociology of religion." - Kim Lam, Monash University, in: Numen 65 (2018)
"Given the growing popularity of Buddhism as a religion of mindfulness and nondogmatic ethical living, Understanding Young Buddhists is a timely sociological study that is likewise nondogmatic in respecting the self-identification and self-understanding of young Buddhists in the UK (...) Understanding Young Buddhists is a very important challenge to the narrative of youth disillusionment with religion in the West. (..) It is a valuable contribution to the literature on Buddhism that is often dominated by historical and doctrinal concerns, or otherwise approached 'from above.'" - Aristotle C. Dy, Ateneo de Manila University, in: Social Sciences and Mission 31, 2018
Scholars and postgraduate students in Buddhism studies; sociology of religion; sociology of youth; and gender and sexuality studies. The book will also appeal to ‘lay’ readers such as Buddhist practitioners and leaders.
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