Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis critiques the existing binary categories applied to American Buddhism, that of ethnic and convert. First, a critique of existing models and the term ethnic is presented. In light of the critique and the shortcomings of existing models, this thesis presents a new model for studying and classifying Buddhist communities in the United States, culturally-informed Buddhisms. Chapter Three of the thesis applies the culturally-informed Buddhisms model to case studies of the websites for the Buddhist Churches of America organization and the Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple. The goals of the culturally-informed Buddhisms model are: to create an adaptable and specific methodology and terminology for scholars to use when researching communities which accounts for change over time, and to re-orient the conversation away from the assumed ethnic and racial heritages of community members to a nuanced discussion of the various cultural strands that have influenced and shaped the communities.
Miller Skriletz, Claire, "Wisteria, Cherry Trees, and Mountains: A New Model for Understanding Buddhist Communities in the United States" (2012). Religious Studies Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 15.