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

  • Fan Zhang


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.


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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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