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North American Buddhists: A Field Of Study?

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Chapter Summary

The literatures of academia and Buddhist studies sometimes elide the concepts of ?field of study? and ?discipline.? This chapter considers a discipline to be the broader entity within which fields of study can be distinguished. For instance, religion is a field of study within the discipline of sociology. The chapter argues that, at present, the topic of North American Buddhists draws primarily bi-disciplinary interest from scholars in the humanities and the social sciences, and that these scholars have yet to achieve significant interdisciplinarity in their combined body of work. Of course, in an important sense, this topic necessarily crosses disciplinary lines in that it concerns a contemporary lived religious tradition. Finally, the chapter presents an overview of the chapters in this book.

Keywords: humanities; North American Buddhists; social sciences



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