My review of Jeff Wilson’s wonderful recent book Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South is now online at the journal Sociology of Religion. Here’s a taste:
Deciding where to look is often the most important decision a researcher makes. Jeff Wilson’s choice to look for Buddhism in Richmond, Virginia, instead of Los Angeles or San Francisco or Boston, is the jumping off point for a series of important discoveries about pluralism, hybridity, and region in American religious communities. In Dixie Dharma, Wilson draws on nearly a decade of ethnographic research at the Ekoji Buddhist Sangha of Richmond to challenge our current scholarly assumptions about Buddhism in America and religion in the South. Through nuanced description and precise theoretical tools, Wilson examines a community of Buddhists working to form a community in the middle of an evangelically Protestant red state.
My colleague at Emory, Kenny Smith, compares the function of authenticity in Scientology and Gold’s Gym
Apparently, most U.S. pastors don’t think Obama is a Christian…or Glenn Beck, for that matter.
Stephen Prothero asks who owns Jesus and Yoga. I wonder when religions became a matter of ownership.