Buddhism beyond Borders

New Perspectives on Buddhism in the United States

Edited by Scott A. Mitchell & Natalie E. F. Quli

Subjects: Buddhism, Religion, American Religion, American Culture, American Studies
Series: SUNY series in Buddhism and American Culture
Paperback : 9781438456362, 305 pages, January 2016
Hardcover : 9781438456379, 305 pages, June 2015

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Table of contents

Preface: Buddhism beyond Borders
Scott A. Mitchell and Natalie E. F. Quli
Section I. Boundaries, Borders, and Categories
1. Theory and Method in the Study of Buddhism: Toward “Translocative” Analysis
Thomas A. Tweed
2. Regionalism within North American Buddhism
Jeff Wilson
3. Two Buddhisms, Three Buddhisms, and Racism
Wakoh Shannon Hickey
Section II. Crossing Borders: Transcultural and Translocative Flows
4. “First White Buddhist Priestess”: A Case Study of Sunya Gladys Pratt at the Tacoma Buddhist Temple
Michihiro Ama
5. Invoking the Dharma Protector: western Involvement in the Dorje Shugden Controversy
Jeannine Chandler
6. Zen at a Distance: Isolation and the Development of Distant Membership
Helen J. Baroni
Section III. Free-Flowing Dharma Discourses
7. Dharma Images and Identity in American Buddhism
Richard Hughes Seager
8. Telling Tales Out of School: The Fiction of Buddhism
Kimberly Beek
9. Mind Full of God: “Jewish Mindfulness” as an Offspring of Western Buddhism in America
Mira Niculescu

Section IV. Modernity and Modernities

10. The United States of Jhāna: Varieties of Modern Buddhism in America
Erik Braun

11. Buddhism and Multiple Modernities
David L. McMahan
12. Buddhist Modernism as Narrative: A Comparative Study of Jodo Shinshu and Zen
Natalie E. F. Quli and Scott A. Mitchell
Afterword: Buddhism beyond Borders Beyond the Rhetorics of Rupture
Richard K. Payne
Works Cited
List of Contributors

Explores facets of North American Buddhism while taking into account the impact of globalization and increasing interconnectivity.


Finalist for the 2015 ForeWord INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award in the Religion Category

Buddhism beyond Borders provides a fresh consideration of Buddhism in the American context. It includes both theoretical discussions and case studies to highlight the tension between studies that locate Buddhist communities in regionally specific areas and those that highlight the translocal nature of an increasingly interconnected world. Whereas previous examinations of Buddhism in North America have assumed a more or less essentialized and homogeneous "American" culture, the essays in this volume offer a corrective, situating American Buddhist groups within the framework of globalized cultural flows, while exploring the effects of local forces. Contributors examine regionalism within American Buddhisms, Buddhist identity and ethnicity as academic typologies, Buddhist modernities, the secularization and hybridization of Buddhism, Buddhist fiction, and Buddhist controversies involving the Internet, among other issues.

Scott A. Mitchell is Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Institute of Buddhist Studies and a core doctoral faculty member at the Graduate Theological Union. Natalie E. F. Quli teaches at the Institute of Buddhist Studies and is assistant editor of Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies.


". ..an important and recommended contribution to the study of American Buddhism. " — Religious Studies Review