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Buddhism In The West Essay Scholarships

While the early study of Buddhism in the West was greatly advanced by the pioneering work of Emma McCloy Layman, Rick Fields, and Charles Prebish, the following intentionally focuses on more recent scholarship, most of which points back to these earlier titles. Baumann 1997, for example, gives an excellent and concise overview of scholarship on both sides of the Atlantic over the past few decades. Not listed here are any concise overviews of Buddhism in Europe, a deficiency resulting from the regionalism of European Buddhism and the difficulty of constraining that diversity within a single volume. Obadia 2000 does much to fill in this gap. Prebish and Tanaka 1998 and Prebish 1999, as a pair, provide an excellent overview of the most compelling issues that faced American Buddhism at the end of the 20th century. Williams and Queen 1999 and Prebish and Baumann 2002 cover some overlapping ground, in particular Tweed’s recurring theme of “night-stand Buddhists”; the latter, however, covers a broader spectrum of Buddhism in the West, including Europe. Seager 1999 provides an excellent overview of American Buddhism in a volume well suited to the classroom. Numrich 2008 contains a wealth of more recent scholarship on North America more broadly defined, largely from the perspective of the sociology of religion.

  • Baumann, Martin. “The Dharma Has Come West: A Survey of Recent Studies and Sources.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 4 (1997).

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    A concise overview of scholarship on Buddhism in Europe, North and South America, South Africa, and Australia from the late 1960s through the early 1990s, making it an excellent resource for scholars who need to get their feet grounded in the early research. Available online.

  • Numrich, Paul David, ed. North American Buddhists in Social Context. Religion and the Social Order 15. Boston: Brill, 2008.

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    A collection of well-researched and thoughtful essays, largely from the sociology of religion, on a variety of Buddhist communities in the United States and Canada. Essays by Numrich and McLellan provide a broad grounding on thematic issues.

  • Obadia, Lionel, ed. Special Issue: Le Bouddhisme en Occident: Approches sociologiques et anthropologiques. Recherches sociologiques 31.3 (2000).

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    This edited collection contains a wealth of articles and scholarship on a wide diversity of Buddhist communities in contemporary Europe. Includes articles by Baumann, Elke Hahlbohm-Helmus, and Michelle Spuler.

  • Prebish, Charles S. Luminous Passage: The Practice and Study of Buddhism in America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

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    Something of a companion to Prebish and Tanaka 1998, this work covers similar but more wide-ranging territory. Most importantly, and distinguishing it from earlier works, Luminous Passage includes in-depth analysis of scholar-practitioners and Buddhist activity online.

  • Prebish, Charles S., and Martin Baumann, eds. Westward Dharma: Buddhism beyond Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

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    An important and wide-ranging collection of essays by top scholars in the field; covers Buddhism throughout the West more broadly defined, including Europe, the Americas, and Oceania and Africa. Topics include issues of immigration, psychology, ritual, feminism, and history.

  • Prebish, Charles S., and Kenneth K. Tanaka, eds. The Faces of Buddhism in America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

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    Based on a conference held at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, this collection of essays includes topical pieces on specific communities as well as reflections on broader American Buddhist themes of identity and ethnicity, psychology, and feminism. Prebish’s introduction and Tanaka’s epilogue add much to the discussion.

  • Seager, Richard Hughes. Buddhism in America. Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

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    More for a general reader and an excellent overview for the classroom, this historical and topical overview of Buddhism in America remains an invaluable resource. A revised edition is forthcoming (as of early 2010).

  • Williams, Duncan Ryūken, and Christopher S. Queen, eds. American Buddhism: Methods and Findings in Recent Scholarship. Papers presented at “Buddhism in America: Methods and Findings in Recent Scholarship,” held at Harvard Divinity School, May 1997. Curzon Critical Studies in Buddhism. Richmond, UK: Curzon, 1999.

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    This collection covers important ground and gives serious and self-reflective criticism to the scholar-practitioner’s place within the academic study of Buddhism.

  • Khyentse Foundation has announced scholarships for students who are enrolled in a program of translation studies or Buddhist philosophy, and who are on track to become or are currently working as translators. Applicants must already be attending an MA, PhD, or MPhil program, and are required to submit letters of recommendation, a sample of their translation work, a budget proposal, and a 400-word essay giving the reasons why they should receive the scholarship. The application deadline is 1 March, and the maximum scholarship is US$5,000.

    Established by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2001, Khyentse Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of Buddhist study, scholarship, and practice worldwide. The foundation has developed the scholarship in order to foster a new generation of translators to work on the collected works of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche has said, “It is entirely possible that the survival of the Buddhadharma could depend on its being translated into other languages” (Khyentse Foundation). The most immediate and pressing obstacle to this goal is the lack of qualified translators.

    Yudro Nyingpo, one of the 108 great translators of Buddhist texts from Sanskrit to Tibetan. From Dorje Kirsten

    For this scholarship, Khyentse Foundation is teaming up with another of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s projects, “84000–Translating the Words of the Buddha”—a global non-profit initiative set up for the purpose of translating the Buddha’s words into modern languages, with an initial focus on rendering the Kangyur and related Tengyur texts into English in 25 years. 84000 grew out of the “Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference” sponsored by Khyentse Foundation at Deer Park Institute in Bir, India, in 2009. This was a gathering of the foremost translators of Tibetan Buddhism, in which they set forth the goal of making the entirety of the words and teachings of the Buddha available in other languages.

    According to the 84000 organization’s website, of all the words spoken by the Buddha and the commentaries on them, “only 5% have been translated into modern languages. Due to the rapid decline in knowledge of classical languages and in the number of qualified scholars, we are in danger of losing this cultural heritage and spiritual legacy” (84000).

    There are currently 173 translators working to translate the Kangyur and Tengyur. As the translations are finished, they are published in an online reading room available on the 84000 website, free of charge to all who are interested. As of now, 765 pages have been published, and 20,000 pages are being actively translated.

    “By translating and making available the Tibetan Buddhist texts to modern people, a vast swath of Buddhist civilization and culture may be saved from annihilation” - Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (84000).

    Successful applicants for the scholarships will be notified by 1 July.

    See more

    Application Window for Translation Scholarships Opens Feb. 1 (Khyentse Foundation)
    Translation Projects (Khyentse Foundation)
    Reading Room (84000)
    Help Us Preserve a Living Tradition (84000)
    Quotes (84000)

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