In our multicultural society, Faiths Formerly seen as exotic have become attractive alternatives for many people seeking more satisfying spiritual lives. This is especially true of Buddhism, which is the focus of constant media attention. The New Buddhism sheds new light on this recent evolution of Buddhist practice in the West. The author, James Coleman chronicles its reinterpretation by key Western teachers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He draws on interviews with noted teachers and lay practitioners, to depict the colorful variety of new Buddhists today, from dilettantes to devoted students and the dedicated teachers who guide their spiritual progress. He also details the problems that have arisen because of some Western influences--especially with regard to gender roles, sex, and power.Exploring the appeal of this exotic faith in postmodern society and questioning its future in a global consumer culture, The New Buddhism provides a thorough and fascinating guide to Western Buddhism today.
About the Author:
JAMES WILLIAM COLEMAN is Professor of Sociology at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a specialization in the sociology of religion, he has been a practicing Buddhist for the last fifteen years.