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HeartwoodThe First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America$
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Wendy Cadge

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226088990

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226089010.001.0001

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The History of Theravada Buddhism in America

The History of Theravada Buddhism in America

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 2 The History of Theravada Buddhism in America
Source:
Heartwood
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226089010.003.0002

This chapter traces the history and development of Theravada Buddhism in America from 1966 to the present. The combination of immigration and conversion that led Buddhism in general to grow so dramatically in the twentieth century has led many researchers to assert that there is not one but two Buddhisms in America—the Buddhism of immigrants and the Buddhism of converts. These two Buddhisms have developed separately from one another, proponents argue, and have no history, organizations, teachers, teachings, or practices in common. Casual observation suggests this may be the case, but more detailed consideration of the history of Theravada Buddhism shows that the picture is considerably more complex.

Keywords:   Theravada Buddhism, history, America, globalization, immigration, religion, conversion

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