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American Encounter with Buddhism, 1844-1912 Victorian Culture and the Limits of Dissent

ISBN-10: 0807849065
ISBN-13: 9780807849064
Edition: 2000
Authors: Thomas A. Tweed
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Description: In this landmark work, Thomas Tweed examines nineteenth-century America's encounter with one of the world's major religions. Exploring the debates about Buddhism that followed upon its introduction in this country, Tweed shows what happened when the  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/6/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

In this landmark work, Thomas Tweed examines nineteenth-century America's encounter with one of the world's major religions. Exploring the debates about Buddhism that followed upon its introduction in this country, Tweed shows what happened when the transplanted religious movement came into contact with America's established culture and fundamentally different Protestant tradition. The book, first published in 1992, traces the efforts of various American interpreters to make sense of Buddhism in Western terms. Tweed demonstrates that while many of those interested in Buddhism considered themselves dissenters from American culture, they did not abandon some of the basic values they shared with their fellow Victorians. In the end, the Victorian understanding of Buddhism, even for its most enthusiastic proponents, was significantly shaped by the prevailing culture. Although Buddhism attracted much attention, it ultimately failed to build enduring institutions or gain significant numbers of adherents in the nineteenth century. Not until the following century did a cultural environment more conducive to Buddhism's taking root in America develop. In a new preface, Tweed addresses Buddhism's growing influence in contemporary American culture.

Foreword
Preface to the Paperback Edition
Acknowledgments
A Note on Foreign Terms
Introduction
"The Seeming Anomaly of Buddhist Negation": The American Conversation about Buddhism, 1844-1877, and the Contours of Mid-Victorian Culture
"Shall We All Become Buddhists?": The Conversation and the Converts, 1879-1912
Esoterics, Rationalists, and Romantics: A Typology of Euro-American Buddhist Sympathizers and Adherents, 1875-1912
"Walking in Fairyland": Buddhism's Appeal and Cultural Dissent
Strolling Down Main Street: Cultural Consent and the Accessibility of Buddhism
Optimism and Activism: Responses to Buddhism, Victorian Religious Culture, and the Limits of Dissent
Postscript: Buddhism in America after 1912
Tables
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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