Dharma World

July-September 2011, Volume 38

Buddhism in North America

Sharing the Dharma in America by Shoko Mizutani

The purpose of sharing the Dharma is not to make all people become Buddhists. . . . Christians can become buddhas as Christians, and Jews can become buddhas as Jews.

Shoko Mizutani is director of Rissho Kosei-kai International of North America in Irvine, California.

Dramatic Growth of American Buddhism: An Overview by Kenneth K. Tanaka

If we add up all three groups (Buddhists, nightstand Buddhists, and those strongly influenced by Buddhism), they amount to about thirty million people in America.

Kenneth K. Tanaka is a professor at Musashino University, Tokyo. He received his PhD in Buddhist studies from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1978 he was ordained a Jodo Shinshu priest and currently serves as president of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies. Educated both in Japan and the United States, Dr. Tanaka is one of the rare bicultural specialists writing prolifically on modern Buddhism.

American Buddhist Practice by Charles S. Prebish

In North American Buddhist practice we are now beginning to see a fruitful cross-fertilization between Buddhist communities of different sects.

Charles S. Prebish, PhD, is professor emeritus of religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, where he served on the faculty from 1971 until 2006. He is also Charles Redd Chair in Religious Studies Emeritus at Utah State University, where he served from January 2007 until December 2010. He also served there as director of the Religious Studies Program. His recent books includeEncyclopedia of Buddhism (coedited with Damien Keown, Routledge, 2009).

Innovative Trends in Euro-American Buddhism by Richard Hughes Seager

Since the 1970s there have been major developments promoting interreligious dialogue, gender equity, and social engagement.

Richard Hughes Seager, PhD, is Bates and Benjamin Professor of Religious Studies at Hamilton College at Clinton, New York. His field of study is the religions of the United States. His interests include immigration, ethnicity and religion, and religion and the environment, but he has written most extensively about Asian religions in the United States. His publications include Buddhism in America (2000) and Encountering the Dharma (2006).

Some African-Americans Are Buddhists, Too! by Jan Willis

Because of the Buddha’s teachings and his own life example, many African-American children of the civil rights movement have been finding their way to Buddhism.

Jan Willis is professor of religion at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. She received her PhD in Indic and Buddhist studies from Columbia University. She is the author of several books, including a memoir, Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist – One Woman’s Spiritual Journey, and a number of essays on various topics relating to Buddhism. In 2000 Time magazine cited her as one of the top religious innovators for the new millennium.>

Leadership Issues in American Buddhism by Paul David Numrich

Three important issues emerged: (1) the tension between the monastic and householder leadership models, (2) the content of leadership training, and (3) new gender expectations.

Paul David Numrich, PhD, is Professor in the Snowden Chair for the Study of Religion and Interreligious Relations, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and Professor of World Religions and Interreligious Relations, Trinity Lutheran Seminary. His publications include Old Wisdom in the New World (1996), Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America: A Short History (co-author, 2008), and North American Buddhists in Social Context (editor, 2008).

Zen and Tibetan Buddhism in North America: East Meets East by Akemi Iwamoto

This kind of mutual enrichment of two Buddhist traditions was undoubtedly one of the greatest fruits produced by the encounter between the two in North America.

Akemi Iwamoto is a senior research fellow at the D. T. Suzuki Memorial Hall (its tentative name), which will open in Kanazawa, Japan, in autumn 2011. She received her PhD in Buddhist studies from Kyoto University in 2002. She has been a visiting scholar at Indiana University, Bloomington, and has held a post-doctoral position at State University of New York at Albany. She taught a six-week intensive course on Yogacara Buddhist texts at the University of the West, Rosemead, California, in 2008.

Lessons from the Internment of Japanese-Americans by Duncan Ryuken Williams

Stories of Japanese-American Buddhists reveal the complex relationship that existed between ethnic, national, and religious identities at the same time as a new form of Buddhism, which simultaneously drew on and transcended Japanese and American traditions, was forged in the crucible of war.

Duncan Ryuken Williams is the director of the School of Religion at the University of Southern California and formerly the Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair in Japanese Buddhism at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of its Center for Japanese Studies. He received his PhD in religion at Harvard University. He specializes mainly in Japanese Buddhist history, Buddhism and environmentalism, and American Buddhism. His most recent works include Issei Buddhism in the Americas (coedited with Tomoe Moriya, University of Illinois Press, 2010).

The Popularity of Selected Elements of Buddhism in North America by Jeff Wilson

The popularity of selected elements of Buddhism in America, Canada, and Mexico may actually hinder Buddhism’s ability to liberate people fully from samsara if they never go further to discover the deeper nature of Buddhism.

Jeff Wilson is assistant professor of religious studies and East Asian studies at Renison University College, an affiliate of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He earned his PhD in religious studies at the University of North Carolina. He specializes in Buddhism in North America and is the author of many publications on such topics as abortion rituals in Western Buddhism and Buddhist pluralism in the United States.

Rissho Kosei-kai’s Progress in America by Masako Watanabe

In the communities where Rissho Kosei-kai’s dissemination among Americans is advancing, it has adopted an approach that suits American traits and is exploring methods that are appropriate to the locality.

Masako Watanabe, PhD, is a professor in the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work at Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo. She also serves as a director of the Japanese Association for Religious Studies and the International Institute for the Study of Religions. Her academic interest centers on sociology of religion, sociology of immigration, and studies in life history. She is currently promoting studies of dissemination of Japanese religions in different cultures.


The Power of Forbearance by Nichiko Niwano

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and the Niwano Peace Foundation, a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, and special advisor to Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (105)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 18: The Merits of Joyful Acceptance
by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 105th installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World

  1. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  2. Spring 2019, Volume 46

    Is Emptiness the Goal?

  3. July-December 2018, Volume 45

    The Buddhahood of Plants and Trees: The Environment and Buddha-Nature

  4. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  5. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  6. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  7. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  8. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  9. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  10. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  11. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  12. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  13. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  14. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  15. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  16. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  17. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  18. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  19. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  20. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  21. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  22. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  23. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  24. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  25. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  26. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  27. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  28. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  29. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  30. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  31. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  32. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  33. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  34. January-March 2010, Volume 37

    Help in Overcoming Alienation

  35. October-December 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  36. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  37. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  38. January-March 2009, Volume 36

    The Changing Forms of the Family and the Role of Religion

  39. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  40. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  41. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  42. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  43. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  44. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  45. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  46. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  47. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  48. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  49. April-June 2006, Volume 33

    Creating the World of the One Vehicle: The Centennial of the Birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano

  50. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  51. November-December 2005, Volume 32

    Remembering Hiroshima

  52. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  53. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  54. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  55. March-April 2005, Volume 32

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  56. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  57. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  58. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  59. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  60. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  61. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  62. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  63. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  64. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  65. July-August 2003, Volume 30

    Niwano Peace Foundation

  66. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  67. March-April 2003, Volume 30

    Life is Larger Than Globalization

  68. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  69. November-December 2002, Volume 29

    Roundtable Disscussion at the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom

  70. September-October 2002, Volume 29

    Sixth Assembly of the Asian Conference on Religion and Peace, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  71. July-August 2002, Volume 29

    The Most Reverend Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Recipient of the 19th Niwano Peace Prize

  72. May-June 2002, Volume 29

    National Treasure Tapestry Illustrating Shakyamuni Sermon to the Faithful

  73. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  74. January-February 2002, Volume 29

    Religious Delegates Gather in New York for WCRP Symposium