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.
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.
Table of contents
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 Change 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.