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The Emergence Of A New Buddhism: Continuity And Change

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Chapter Summary

Buddhism took centuries to adapt to each new country and each new culture as it spread beyond its ancestral home in India. The story of Western Buddhism may be told in decades, not centuries, but Buddhism has already made some of the most radical changes in its history. This chapter aims to chart the trajectory of change along which this new Buddhism is moving, not to divine its ultimate destination. Somewhere between the ethnic Buddhism of the Asian immigrants and the meditation-oriented ?new Buddhists? there is another stream of Buddhism - the Soka Gakkai - that follows its own distinctive path. The chapter focuses on the new meditation-oriented Buddhism, but it is important to note at the outset that the Soka Gakkai plays an important part in the Western Buddhist scene as well. It has been more successful than other groups in winning converts among minorities.

Keywords: Asian immigrants; ethnic Buddhism; Soka Gakkai; Western Buddhism



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