Chapter

The History of Theravada Buddhism in America

in Heartwood

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780226088990
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226089010 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226089010.003.0002
The History of Theravada Buddhism in America

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This chapter traces the history and development of Theravada Buddhism in America from 1966 to the present. The combination of immigration and conversion that led Buddhism in general to grow so dramatically in the twentieth century has led many researchers to assert that there is not one but two Buddhisms in America—the Buddhism of immigrants and the Buddhism of converts. These two Buddhisms have developed separately from one another, proponents argue, and have no history, organizations, teachers, teachings, or practices in common. Casual observation suggests this may be the case, but more detailed consideration of the history of Theravada Buddhism shows that the picture is considerably more complex.

Keywords: Theravada Buddhism; history; America; globalization; immigration; religion; conversion

Chapter.  11674 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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