Looking West: A Primer for American Buddhism

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Looking West: A Primer for American Buddhism is a short, basic introduction to one of the fastest growing new religions in America. It provides all the historical, doctrinal, and community information a curious person would want to know about Buddhism in its new American home. It highlights all the key figures and religious practices employed by the various Buddhist communities in America. More

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Published: Dec. 28, 2011
Words: 43,050
Language: English
ISBN: 9781466101838
About Charles Prebish

Charles Prebish came to Utah State University in January 2007 following more than thirty-five years on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University. During his tenure at Utah State University, he was the first holder of the Charles Redd Endowed Chair in Religious Studies and served as Director of the Religious Studies Program. During his career, Dr. Prebish published more than twenty books and nearly one hundred scholarly articles and chapters. His books Buddhist Monastic Discipline (1975) and Luminous Passage: The Practice and Study of Buddhism in America (1999) are considered classic volumes in Buddhist Studies. Dr. Prebish remains the leading pioneer in the establishment of the study of Western Buddhism as a sub-discipline in Buddhist Studies. In 1993 he held the Visiting Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary, and in 1997 was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation National Humanities Fellowship for research at the University of Toronto. Dr. Prebish has been an officer in the International Association of Buddhist Studies, and was co-founder of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion. In 1994, he co-founded the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, which was the first online peer-reviewed journal in the field of Buddhist Studies; and in 1996, co-founded the Routledge "Critical Studies in Buddhism" series. He has also served as editor of the Journal of Global Buddhism and Critical Review of Books in Religion. In 2005, he was honored with a "festschrift" volume by his colleagues titled Buddhist Studies from India to America: Essays in Honor of Charles S. Prebish. Dr. Prebish retired from Utah State University on December 31, 2010, and was awarded emeritus status. He currently resides in State College, Pennsylvania.

Reviews

Review by: Tanya McGinnity on Feb. 24, 2012 : star star star star
I just recently finished reading the latest ebook by Charles Prebish one of the foremost experts and scholars in American Buddhism and do recommend it wholeheartedly for those who are looking for a comprehensive introduction to the who, what, where and hows of American Buddhism.

Titled “Looking West: A Primer for American Buddhism” this digital publication covers much ground in exploring each of the various Buddhist traditions. Ideal for both those looking for demographic information as well as those curious about the full offering of forms of Buddhism in North America, this ebook provides a glimpse into both the differences and similarities present running across race, culture, location and practices whether they be from Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana traditions. With descriptions of the various Asian masters who came to America to spread the dharma as well as mention of the next wave of Buddhist teachers, including those teachers who are less about teaching Buddhism and more about teaching meditation and mindfulness practices, this ebook describes itself as offering “a clear typology for examining the American Buddhist tradition which includes ethnicity, practice, democratization, social engagement, and adaptation.”

Prebish dips a toe in the virtual worlds of the cybersangha and Buddhablogs and looks at how younger Buddhists are both creating new communities and participating in the existing molds created by the first wave Boomer generations. Some mention is made to socially engaged Buddhism as well as global dialogue amongst global Buddhists, interfaith participation and various other manners in which Buddhists are going beyond the walls of our centres and into our communities to engage in practice and be of service.

To come full circle, the future of Buddhism in America is examined and after putting down my Kindle, I must say that a LOT of ground is covered in these 93 digital pages. I recommend this book for those who would like to find out more about the past and present of Buddhism in America and read Prebish’s thoughts as to where it’s headed.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Tanya McGinnity on Feb. 24, 2012 : star star star star
I just recently finished reading the latest ebook by Charles Prebish one of the foremost experts and scholars in American Buddhism and do recommend it wholeheartedly for those who are looking for a comprehensive introduction to the who, what, where and hows of American Buddhism.

Titled “Looking West: A Primer for American Buddhism” this digital publication covers much ground in exploring each of the various Buddhist traditions. Ideal for both those looking for demographic information as well as those curious about the full offering of forms of Buddhism in North America, this ebook provides a glimpse into both the differences and similarities present running across race, culture, location and practices whether they be from Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana traditions. With descriptions of the various Asian masters who came to America to spread the dharma as well as mention of the next wave of Buddhist teachers, including those teachers who are less about teaching Buddhism and more about teaching meditation and mindfulness practices, this ebook describes itself as offering “a clear typology for examining the American Buddhist tradition which includes ethnicity, practice, democratization, social engagement, and adaptation.”

Prebish dips a toe in the virtual worlds of the cybersangha and Buddhablogs and looks at how younger Buddhists are both creating new communities and participating in the existing molds created by the first wave Boomer generations. Some mention is made to socially engaged Buddhism as well as global dialogue amongst global Buddhists, interfaith participation and various other manners in which Buddhists are going beyond the walls of our centres and into our communities to engage in practice and be of service.

To come full circle, the future of Buddhism in America is examined and after putting down my Kindle, I must say that a LOT of ground is covered in these 93 digital pages. I recommend this book for those who would like to find out more about the past and present of Buddhism in America and read Prebish’s thoughts as to where it’s headed.

I appreciate Charles Prebish for his ability to compile in his writing, a well-documented survey of American Buddhism.
(reviewed long after purchase)

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