Europeanizing the Buddha and Constructing a World Religion

The Buddha, as many in the West understand him, was invented in the nineteenth century, says Donald Lopez. This Europeanized image of the Buddha emerged after hundreds of years of Christian misconceptions about the Buddha, argued Lopez. During visits to Asia, Europeans had seen different images of the Buddha, represented in the various artistic styles … Continue reading Europeanizing the Buddha and Constructing a World Religion

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Review– Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South

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 … Continue reading Review– Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South

The Sacred & Profane: Buddhism and Science, Gold’s Gym and Scientology, Jesus and Yoga

Buddhism and Science: Problems and Perils 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.