Buddhism, the Internet and Digital Media: The Pixel in the Lotus explores Buddhist practice and teachings in an increasingly networked and digital era. Contributors consider the ways Buddhism plays a role and is present in digital media through a variety of methods including concrete case studies, ethnographic research, and content analysis, as well as interviews with practitioners and cyber-communities. In addition to considering Buddhism in the context of technologies such as virtual worlds, social media, and mobile devices, authors ask how the Internet affects identity, authority and community, and what effect this might have on the development, proliferation, and perception of Buddhism in an online environment. Together, these essays make the case that studying contemporary online Buddhist practice can provide valuable insights into the shifting role religion plays in our constantly changing, mediated, hurried, and uncertain culture.

chapter 1|20 pages


part I|55 pages

Methodological Considerations

chapter 2|17 pages

The Middle Way Method

A Buddhist-Informed Ethnography of the Virtual World of Second Life

chapter 3|18 pages

Between Network and Story

Analyzing Hyperlinks and Narratives on Websites about Tibet

part II|37 pages

Historical Approaches

chapter 5|14 pages

Online Peer-Reviewed Journals in Buddhism

The Birth of the Journals of Buddhist Ethics and Global Buddhism

chapter 6|21 pages

A Virtual Bodhi Tree

Untangling the Cultural Context and Historical Genealogy of Digital Buddhism

part III|38 pages

Buddhism, Media, and Society

chapter 7|17 pages

The Madhyama Is the Message

Internet Affordance of Anatman and Pratitya Samutpada

chapter 8|19 pages

Buddhist Apps

Skillful Means or Dharma Dilution?

part IV|72 pages

Case Studies

chapter 9|18 pages

Virtual Tibet

From Media Spectacle to Co-Located Sacred Space

chapter 10|18 pages

Our Virtual Materials

The Substance of Buddhist Holy Objects in a Virtual World

chapter 11|13 pages

American Cybersangha

Building a Community or Providing a Buddhist Bulletin Board?

chapter 12|21 pages

The Way of the Blogisattva

Buddhist Blogs on the Web