Current Popularity of Buddhism in the United States
Contemporary Buddhism is one of the strongest and perhaps subtlest catalysts for change in United States history, soon to equal, if not surpass, the role of both Christianity and Judaism in the shaping of American religion, philosophy, values, culture, and identity – even, perhaps, American politics and economics. It is a new basso continuo of change in America, finding expression not only in direct religious practices but interpenetrating both intellectual and popular culture.
Like one of its central metaphors, the diamond net of Indra, which consists of a necklace of diamonds, each of which is connected with every other diamond, is separate and yet within each diamond is every other diamond; American Buddhism consists of many highly varied sanghas (local groups) whose common root is in the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha of third-century BCEIndia and has now interpenetrated every aspect of American culture. It is found in common...
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