Title: Buddhism In America

Essay Details

Subject: Philosophy
Author: Michael H
Date: October 21, 2014
Level:
Grade: A
Length: 9 / 2565
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Unlike in Asia where there is century's worth of social and political background for Buddhism, America has almost none by comparison. Although it is now rather common to refer to Oriental influences in the writing of such prominent American literary figures as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman, the more specific beginnings of Buddhism in America can be traced to the Chinese immigrants who began to appear on the West Coast in the 1840's...

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Rick Fields, author of How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America, has suggested that by 1852 twenty thousand Chinese were [resent in California and within a decade, nearly one-tenth of the California population was Chinese. As Chinese temples began to appear along the California coastline and as well in the Chinatown section of San Francisco the religious practice was an eclectic blend of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, and although there were many Buddhist priests in residence, a distinctly Chinese Buddhism did not develop until much later...

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