chapter  5
THE ORDER OF BUDDHIST CONTEMPLATIVES: BACKGROUND AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT
Pages 26

This chapter outlines the early stages of the transplantation of Japanese Soto Zen Buddhism in Britain by detailing the emergence and development of the OBC, the first Zen movement to firmly establish itself on British shores. The biography of its Western founder, Peggy Kennett (see Figure 5.1), and her relations with the Japanese Soto sect are discussed, and the emergence and early development of the OBC in America and Britain is charted. The early ideological development of the OBC is examined through an analysis of the writings of Kennett and the assimilation of her teachings within the movement. The relevance of the widely accepted ‘Protestant Buddhism’ thesis to an understanding of the nature of the OBC is also considered, a critical appraisal of which is long overdue within the academic study of contemporary forms of Buddhism in the West.