Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation

Hardcover | November 11, 2011

byJoseph Cheah

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While academic and popular studies of Buddhism have often neglected race as a factor of analysis, the issues concerning race and racialization have remained not far below the surface of the wider discussion among ethnic Buddhists, converts, and sympathizers regarding representations ofAmerican Buddhism and adaptations of Buddhist practices to the American context. In Race and Religion in American Buddhism, Joseph Cheah provides a much-needed contribution to the field of religious studies by addressing the under-theorization of race in the study of American Buddhism. Through thelens of racial formation, Cheah demonstrates how adaptations of Buddhist practices by immigrants, converts and sympathizers have taken place within an environment already permeated with the logic and ideology of whiteness and white supremacy. In other words, race and religion (Buddhism) are sointimately bounded together in the United States that the ideology of white supremacy informs the differing ways in which convert Buddhists and sympathizers and Burmese ethnic Buddhists have adapted Buddhist religious practices to an American context. Cheah offers a complex view of how the Burmese American community must negotiate not only the religious and racial terrains of the United States but also the transnational reach of the Burmese junta. Race and Religion in American Buddhism marks an important contribution to the study of AmericanBuddhism as well as to the larger fields of U.S. religions and Asian American studies.

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From the Publisher

While academic and popular studies of Buddhism have often neglected race as a factor of analysis, the issues concerning race and racialization have remained not far below the surface of the wider discussion among ethnic Buddhists, converts, and sympathizers regarding representations ofAmerican Buddhism and adaptations of Buddhist pract...

Joseph Cheah is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 0.91 inPublished:November 11, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199756287

ISBN - 13:9780199756285

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Colonial Legacy of White Supremacy in American Buddhism3. Buddhist Modernism and the American Vipassana Movement4. Adaptation of Vipassana Meditation by Convert Buddhists and Sympathizers5. Assimilationist Paradigm and Burmese Americans6. Monastic and Domestic Settings7. Burmese Loyalty Structure of the Dual Domination Paradigm8. ConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"[T]his book is a compelling account of how Buddhism in general has been received in the US and Europe. It is an excellent contribution to Buddhist studies in particular and the study of the dynamics of racism in religion in general." --CHOICE