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Global Buddhism

As with the other topics of my research, in investigating global Buddhism I am concerned with the key role of imagination in the globalisation of culture in the contemporary world. Indeed, long ago Appadurai (1996: 31) has argued that, ‘The imagination is now central to all forms of agency, is itself a social fact, and is the key component of the new global order.’ In my work on the globalisation of Buddhism, I have analysed a popular imaginary that conflates Buddhism with tranquillity, happiness, peace, and harmony carried through mass-mediated images, the internet, marketing campaigns, and flows of people, objects and practices. Originating from the impact of modernization forces on traditional Buddhist schools, this ‘modern’ Buddhism is perceived as philosophy not religion. It rejects ritual and magic and embraces rationality, individualism, universalism, and empiricism and it doesn’t relate to the daily lives of most Buddhists.

Buddhism in Australia

Journal of Global Buddhism

Zen in Brazil

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