A Brief History of Modern Zen Buddhism in the United States

  • Fan Zhang


There are millions of Buddhists in the West today. First brought to Europe and the U.S. by Chinese and Japanese immigrants, Buddhism has become the fastest growing religion since its entry to the West in the nineteenth century (Drew 2012). Credible estimates of the adult population of Buddhists in the United States are around 1.4–4 million (Wuthnow and Cadge 2004). However, this number only suggested a stable group who are qualified Buddhist and are affiliated with temples and Buddhist organizations. There are also considerable individuals and groups who attend Buddhist activities on a frequent basis and practice Zen on their own while identify themselves as “Buddhism sympathizers” (Drew 2012). According to a survey in 2003, 12.5% of Americans think Buddhist teachings and practices have a great influence on their spirituality. Up till now, the number is still growing, together with the number of Buddhist institutions, meditation centers, and practitioner groups.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fan Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Journalism and CommunicationXi’an International Studies UniversityXi’anChina

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