Beyond the Ivory Tower
This blog begins as a discussion space for a graduate-level course about Buddhism in the U.S. However, we hope it will become a public space for discussing the past, present, and possible future of Buddhist history and practice in the United States. This course is being taught by Dr. Jane Iwamura at University of the West in Rosemead, California. Dr. Iwamura and her students will be posting here regularly about topics being raised in the class. Comments are welcome and encouraged both from enrolled students and the general public. Please, tell us what you think! What does Buddhism in the U.S. look like to you?
Ground Rules for Happy Blogging
We hope this blog can remain a safe space and while we encourage lively discussion, debate, and even disagreement, please respect your fellow commentors. Although anonymous comments are allowed to protect the safety and privacy of commentors, inflammatory, defaming, threatening, or discriminatory comments will be deleted by the editor. We encourage commentors to log in and use their real names or personal internet handles whenever they feel comfortable.
If you would like to have some background about the topics being discussed here on the blog, feel free to follow the reading outline for the class, which is found below. This is only a draft and other reading materials will be mentioned as appropriate to the topics raised in the class. In some cases, we may only read specific sections, chapters, or excerpts from the books mentioned below. These will be noted as they are announced. However, please don’t feel like you have to follow along exactly before voicing your opinion or sharing your experience.
Books (in the order of reading)
- Race and Religion in American Buddhism by Joseph Cheah(pages 1-35)
- How the Swans Came to the Lake by Rick Fields
- Buddhism in America by Richard Hughes Seager
- Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America by Wendy Cadge
- Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience by Carolyn Chen
- Dharma, Color, and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism by Hilda Gutierrez Baldoquin
- Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism by Rita Gross
- Engaged Buddhism in the West by Christopher S. Queen
- Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion by Jeremy Carrette and Richard King