Buddhist Communities Abroad

Thomas A. Tweed

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Buddhist Communities Abroad

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Buddhism arose during the fifth century BCE in what is today Nepal and northeastern India to become one of the world's first transregional religions. In crossing from one region to another, hybrid practices emerged as it made contact with other spiritual and cultural traditions. That sort of transculturation, in which both itinerant religious practices and shifting local cultures were transformed, has characterized the history of Buddhism as it moved throughout Asia and the rest of the world. By the time Buddhism died out in India during the thirteenth century, it had spread throughout almost all of southeastern, central, and eastern Asia. Buddhism was transnational and transcultural—with new hybrid rituals, institutions, artifacts, and beliefs emerging as it crossed borders and interacted with local cultures and vernacular religions. This article deals with Buddhism outside Asia, including the United States.

Keywords: Asia; Buddhism; United States; India; transculturation; rituals; local cultures; religions; religious practices

Article.  4671 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations ; Buddhism

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