Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America

University of Chicago Press
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Theravada is one of the three main branches of Buddhism. In Asia it is practiced widely in Thailand, Laos, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. This fascinating ethnography opens a window onto two communities of Theravada Buddhists in contemporary America: one outside Philadelphia that is composed largely of Thai immigrants and one outside Boston that consists mainly of white converts.

Wendy Cadge first provides a historical overview of Theravada Buddhism and considers its specific origins here in the United States. She then brings her findings to bear on issues of personal identity, immigration, cultural assimilation, and the nature of religion in everyday life. Her work is the first systematic comparison of the ways in which immigrant and convert Buddhists understand, practice, and adapt the Buddhist tradition in America. The men and women whom Cadge meets and observes speak directly to us in this work, both in their personal testimonials and as they meditate, pray, and practice Buddhism.

Creative and insightful, Heartwood will be of enormous value to sociologists of religion and anyone wishing to understand the rise of Buddhism in the Western world.
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About the author

Wendy Cadge is associate professor of sociology at Brandeis University and the author of Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America,also published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Oct 10, 2008
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Pages
278
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ISBN
9780226089010
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Buddhism / General
Religion / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much--just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work--to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully.
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From the Hardcover edition.
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