Scott A. Mitchell

in Buddhism

ISBN: 9780195393521
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

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Globalization is a topic taken up by a variety of disciplines, from political science and international relations, to economics and sociology. Anthropology and sociology are the fields most relevant to Buddhist studies; unfortunately, the bulk of this work focuses on culture more broadly defined, religion as a subset of culture, and Buddhism as a subset of religion. This work is often heavy on theory and abstraction but light on concrete examples of lived religious experience. On the other hand, Buddhist studies scholars over the past two decades have increasingly framed their work on contemporary Buddhisms in the context of globalization or the transnational movement of peoples. However, in taking globalization as something of a given, little is said on what it actually means; and the relationship between globalization theory and concrete examples is merely implied. The following bibliography seeks to balance both the surfeit of globalization theory with the dearth of specifically Buddhist globalization theories. This balance can be achieved by focusing on works that are most relevant to Buddhist studies and works that situate Buddhism explicitly in a global context. This emerging field is presently concerned with Buddhist modernism and Buddhist reactions to colonialism and Western hegemony; area studies that locate Buddhist movements within the flow of global culture; and the effects of immigration, migration, and refugees on specific Buddhist communities or populations. This entry, then, begins with an overview of both globalization theory and some of the major introductions to the field of Buddhist globalization and resources for the classroom. To the extent that globalization is historically related to Western imperialism, there is much overlap here with postcolonial studies. The reader will also note a bias in this first edition toward Western language sources that will be attended to in later iterations; as Alles 2008 (cited under Globalization Theories) makes clear, the study of religion in the global context is not the sole purview of the Anglo-American West.

Article.  8424 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism ; Tibetan Buddhism ; Zen Buddhism

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