There are two distinct but related histories of American Buddhism: that of Asian immigrants and that of American converts. The presence of the two communities raises such questions as: What is the difference between the Buddhism of American converts and Buddhism of Asian immigrant communities? How do we characterize the Buddhism of a new generation Asian-American youth—as a movement of preservation or transformation?... Read more about One Buddhism? Or Multiple Buddhisms?
A reflection on American Buddhist monasticism from the Venerable Walpola Piyananda highlights the tensions that arise when immigrant Buddhism encounters American social customs that differ from those in Asia.... Read more about The Difficulties of a Monk
American convert Buddhism and immigrant Asian Buddhism have dramatically different models of authority and institutional hierarchy. Buddhist organizations and communities in America are forced to attend to the question of how spiritual, social, financial, and organizational authorities will be dispersed among its leaders and members.... Read more about Changing Patterns of Authority
American Buddhism has created new roles for women in the Buddhist tradition. American Buddhist women have been active in movements to revive the ordination lineages of Buddhist nuns in the Theravada and Vajrayana traditions.... Read more about Women in American Buddhism
Since the 1970s, Buddhist leaders from various traditions have engaged together in ecumenical councils and organizations to address prevalent challenges for Buddhism in North America. These events have brought together Buddhist traditions that, in the past, have had limited contact with one another. In addition, these groups have become involved in interfaith partnerships, particularly with Christian and Jewish organizations.... Read more about Ecumenical and Interfaith Buddhism: Coming Together in America
How do Buddhists in America transmit their culture and tradition to new generations? In the Jodo Shinshu school of Japanese Buddhism, Sunday School classes have become an important religious educational tool to address this question, and its curriculum offers a particularly American approach to educating children about their tradition.... Read more about Teaching the Love of Buddha: The Next Generation