Advertisement

The Temple’s Paradox: Maintaining Cultural Traditions in the Discourse of Modernization and Democratization

  • Fan Zhang
Chapter

Abstract

Maintaining cultural traditions has always been an issue for many Buddhist temples in the United States. Like the comment cited above from abbot R, a common assumption about a Buddhist temple is that it is always run by an Asian or at least by Asian Americans, since they represent the authenticity, the exotic, and the unknown myth from the other side of the earth. This assumption might be true within the first few decades after Buddhism was introduced to the U.S. by the Chinese and Japanese immigrants. However, with the dissemination of this ancient Eastern religion to the Western world, Buddhist demographics are also gradually changing to become more and more diverse. Therefore, we are witnessing the emergence of a new type of temple like the H temple with predominantly Euro-American practitioners. How these temples view traditions from a different culture and strive to maintain traditions to justify the authenticity of their temple in the discourse of Western modernity remains a crucial issue to be resolved.

References

  1. Asai, S., & Williams, D. R. (1999). Japanese American Zen temples: Cultural identity and economics. In American Buddhism: Methods and findings in recent scholarship (pp. 20–35). Richmond: Curzon.Google Scholar
  2. Asakawa, G. (2015). Being Japanese American: A JA sourcebook for Nikkei, Hapa... & their friends. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press, IncGoogle Scholar
  3. Bodiford, W. M. (1991). Dharma transmission in soto zen. manzan dohaku’s reform movement. Monumenta Nipponica, 46(4), 423–451.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2385187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carrette, J. R., & King, R., 1966. (2005). Selling spirituality: The silent takeover of religion. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Coleman, J. W. (1999). The new Buddhism: Some empirical findings. In American Buddhism: Methods and findings in recent scholarship (pp. 91–99). Surrey: Curzon Press.Google Scholar
  6. Connelly, E. (2012). State secrets and redaction: The interaction between silence and ideographs. Western Journal of Communication, 76(3), 236–249.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10570314.2011.653470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Drew, R. (2012). Buddhist chic: A look at Buddhism’s appeal in the West. Svensk Missionstidskrift, 100(1), 91–113.Google Scholar
  8. Gokhale, B. G. (1999). Theravada Buddhism and modernization. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 34(1), 33–45.  https://doi.org/10.1163/156852199X00158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gross, R. M. (2014). The suffering of sexism: Buddhist perspectives and experiences. Buddhist-Christian Studies, 34(1), 69–81.  https://doi.org/10.1353/bcs.2014.0015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jaffe, R. M. (2001). Neither monk nor layman: Clerical marriage in modern Japanese Buddhism (p. 328). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Jerryson, M. (2012). Encyclopedia of global religion. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.bgsu.edu:8080/10.4135/9781412997898.n626 Google Scholar
  12. Kitiarsa, P. (2010). Missionary intent and monastic networks: Thai Buddhism as a transnational religion. Sojourn Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 25(1), 109–132. https://doi.org/10.1353/soj.0.0043.
  13. Kornfield, J. (1988). Is Buddhism changing in North America?. In D. Morreale, & S. Fe (Eds.), Buddhist America. Centers, retreats, practices. New Mexico: J. Muir Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Loori, J. D., Treace, B. M., Marchaj, K. R., & NetLibrary, I. (1996). The heart of being: Moral and ethical teachings of Zen Buddhism (1st ed.). Boston: Charles E. Tuttle.Google Scholar
  15. McGee, M. C. (1980). The “ideograph”: A link between rhetoric and ideology. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 66, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McMahan, D. L. (2008). The making of Buddhist modernism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Noriko, K. (2003). Feminist Buddhism as praxis: Women in traditional Buddhism. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 30(3/4), 291–313.Google Scholar
  18. Ogoshi, A. (1993). Women and sexism in Japanese Buddhism: A reexamination of Shinran’s view of women. Japan Christian Review, 59, 19–25.Google Scholar
  19. Porcu, E. (2014). Pop religion in Japan: Buddhist temples, icons, and branding. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 26(2), 157–172. https://doi.org/10.3138/jrpc.26.2.157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Queen, C., & Williams, D. R. (2013). American Buddhism: Methods and findings in recent scholarship. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Seager, R. H. (1999). Buddhism in America. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Starling, J. (2015). Family temples and religious learning in contemporary Japanese Buddhism. Journal of Global Buddhism, 16, 144–156.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations