Two Buddhisms Further Considered
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Two Buddhisms Further Considered book
Over the past century and a half, many observers have recognized a “two Buddhisms” dichotomy, framed in broad ethnic terms, that characterizes the Buddhist presence in the West. Two types of Buddhists pursue substantively different perspectives and practices of Buddhism-ethnic Asians born into a Buddhist cultural heritage, and non-Asian converts to Buddhism. Critical reflection on this two Buddhisms dichotomy dates only to the early 1990s, but since then it has exercised the field of contemporary Buddhist Studies. This chapter presents an analytical history and critical assessment of the two Buddhisms notion. I will recommend that advocates and critics alike acknowledge the value of the notion, and that they direct their energies toward advancing the field in creative ways, both within and outside the two Buddhisms paradigm.