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6 ‘Mrs. Ma’ and ‘Ms. Xu’: On the Attractiveness of Denoting Oneself a ‘Buddhist’ in the Increasingly Transnational Milieu of Urban Taiwan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims at situating the transnational notion of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism in the context of the general attractiveness of Buddhism to Taiwanese urbanites. It focuses on the statistical observation that an increasingly large percentage of Buddhists in Taiwan live in urban areas. By discussing some of the author findings from the biographical interviews, the chapter establishes the reasons for this higher percentage, and highlights the importance of transnational notions in eight of the nine contrastive cases as well as in the organizational development of Taiwanese Buddhism. It looks at two individual cases in order to differentiate between two understandings of Buddhism's function as an international link-up for urban dwellers. A brief outline of the international involvement of Taiwanese Buddhist organizations shall be given, on the basis of which the cases of Mrs. Ma and Ms. Xu are discussed in the chapter.

Keywords: biographical interviews; Buddhism; Mrs. Ma; Ms. Xu; urban Taiwan



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