Diversification in the Buddhist Churches of America: Demographic Trends and Their Implications for the Future Study of U.S. Buddhist Groups

Anne C. Spencer

Abstract


Scholars of U.S Buddhism often divide Buddhist groups into categories using a system called "Two Buddhisms." These groups are "Heritage," founded by immigrants, and "Convert," founded by Americans of European descent. As cultural pressures force U.S. Buddhist groups to adapt, the resulting changes challenge our existing categorization systems. This paper uses 2011 survey data to show that the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) is becoming demographically more diverse and its practices more Americanized. With these adaptations, the BCA no longer fits easily into either Heritage or Convert categories, suggesting that the Two Buddhisms system in its current form is inadequate for evaluating U.S. Buddhist groups. To aid the future study of U.S. Buddhism, I use the data from the BCA to provide an alternative, more nuanced, rubric for assessing the adaptation of Buddhist groups which will enhance the existing Two Buddhisms system.

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2015 Anne C. Spencer

The JGB is indexed by ATLA Religion Database, ProQuest, EBSCO, eGranary Digital Library, the DOAJ, and ERIH PLUS. The works published in this journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.  ISSN 1527-6457

Contact: jgb@globalbuddhism.org