Archives for posts with tag: America

9780199368136Versluis, Arthur. American Gurus: From American Transcendentalism to New Age Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. (297 p. ISBN 978-0-19-936813-6)

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“By the early twenty-first century, a phenomenon that once was inconceivable had become nearly commonplace in American society: the public spiritual teacher who neither belongs to, nor is authorized by a major religious tradition. From the Oprah Winfrey-endorsed Eckhart Tolle to figures like Gangaji and Adhyashanti, there are now countless spiritual teachers who claim and teach variants of instant or immediate enlightenment. Read the rest of this entry »

41A1pWAr8VLMitchell, S. and N. Quli. Buddhism beyond Borders: New Perspectives on Buddhism in the United States. SUNY series in Buddhism and American Culture. Albany: SUNY Press, 2015. (256 p. ISBN: 978-1-4384-5638-6)

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“Buddhism beyond Borders provides a fresh consideration of Buddhism in the American context. It includes both theoretical discussions and case studies to highlight the tension between studies that locate Buddhist communities in regionally specific areas and those that highlight the translocal nature of an increasingly interconnected world. Whereas previous examinations of Buddhism in North America have assumed a more or less essentialized and homogeneous “American” culture, the essays in this volume offer a corrective, situating American Buddhist groups within the framework of globalized cultural flows, while exploring the effects of local forces. Read the rest of this entry »

9780199827817_450Wilson, Jeff: Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture. Oxford University Press, 2014. (280 p. ISBN 978-0199827817)

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You will want to have a good look at this monograph. It addresses the cultural factors involved in the mediation, mystification, medicalization, mainstreaming, marketing, and moralizing mindfulness.

The guiding questions thus are: How does mindfulness reach America? How is it made available for appropriation? How is mindfulness modified to fit a scientific and therapeutic culture? How is it adapted to middle-class needs? How is mindfulness turned into a commercial product? And how is mindfulness related to values and worldviews?

 The first comprehensive study of the practice of mindfulness in America.

You can Mindful America (of course!) on Facebook and Twitter. And it’s worth to take time and read this in-depth review by Mark Knickelbine at the Secular Buddhist Association, which also features a podcast with author Jeff Wilson.

Case study for how Buddhism influences and is appropriated and adapted by non-Buddhist cultures.

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