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Presented to the Buddhism in the West Consultation, bright and early at nine o’clock on Saturday, November 1, at the American Academy of Religion national meeting in Chicago (sweet home, Chicago). The paper is mixture of stuff from my dissertation and my (fingers crossed) first book. Enjoy!
Abstract: This paper seeks to bypass the shortcomings of traditional Buddhist studies scholarship, vis-Ã -vis American Buddhism, by reframing the tradition as a transnational and global phenomenon. Drawing on both historical precedents and contemporary examples of transnationalism, I argue that American Buddhisms are best understood as local variations on the theme of Buddhism as a global, â€œworld religion.â€ This framework presents a formidable challenge to both American Buddhist studies and Buddhist studies more generally, but one that will ultimately only enhance our understandings of modern Buddhist traditions.
© 2008 by Scott A. Mitchell