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Discovering the Dharma: Buddhism in America
著者 Seager, Richard Hughes
掲載誌 Historically Speaking
巻号v.9 n.7
出版年月日2008
ページ43 - 45
出版者Johns Hopkins University Press
出版サイト https://www.press.jhu.edu/
出版地Baltimore, MD, US [巴爾的摩, 馬里蘭州, 美國]
資料の種類期刊論文=Journal Article
言語英文=English
抄録For decades, Buddhism has been the Asian religion Americans have most loved to love, an affection that, however sincere, is often based on vague idealizations and limited knowledge. During the past thirty years, dozens of Buddhist traditions from nations across Asia have set down roots in the US. both in convert and in immigrant communities. Americans now practice the Buddhist dharma or "teachings" by chanting nembutsu, "Homage to Amida Buddha," and daimoku, "Hail to die Lotus Sutra." They circumambulate Buddhist reliquaries, visualize bodhisattvas, and perform full-body prostrations. But most Americans continue to think about Buddhism in stock generalization *;—it is deep, meditative, and practiced by sitting in quiet contemplation. For years, I have taught episodes in die history of American Buddhism at Hamilton College in central New York State. As the course has evolved, I have come to see mat an important part of my teaching is to address such generalizations. Each year, on the first day of class, I poll students to assess their familiarity with the dharma. For those who distrust religion , Buddhism is seen as a philosophy or way of life. For pacifists, its history is thought to be devoid of military conquest. Most are familiar with Zen Buddhism but often gloss it with reference to "in-the-zone" basketball coach Phil Jackson or desk-top rock gardens. Few know it to be a sectarian lineage that evolved as Buddhism moved to China, Korea, and Japan from India. For most undergraduates as for most Americans, Buddhism is a benign, highly individualized spirituality: contemplative , calming, cerebral, hip, and pacific. This take on Buddhism is an expression of a long national tradition of idealizing Asian religions, a leitmotif that goes back to die antebellum period when Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and others in the Transcendentalist generation began to make spiritual turns toward the East. Since then, Asian religions have been seeping into the American mainstream through fiction, poetry , and the visual arts, but in so doing dieir particularities tend to get strained out, leaving a cluster of vague, often highly romanticized ideas. For generations , these ideas have infused a wide range of alternative religious sensibilities from Gilded Age metaphysical movements to today's New Age spirituality .
ISSN19414188 (P); 19446438 (E)
DOI10.1353/hsp.2008.0034
ヒット数4
作成日2020.11.24



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