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The Making of Buddhist Modernism$
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David L. McMahan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183276

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183276.001.0001

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From Modern to Postmodern?

From Modern to Postmodern?

(p.241) 9 From Modern to Postmodern?
The Making of Buddhist Modernism

David L. McMahan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

What are the implications of Buddhist modernism as it moves into the postmodern age? Democratization, the increasing roles of women, and further hybridity and dialogue with other religions and with secular cultures are certainly important. So are tensions between radically detraditionalized Buddhism and those re-embracing tradition, between Buddhism as privatized spirituality and socially engaged Buddhism, and between localized and globalizing forms of the dharma. The globalization of Buddhism is leading to increased heterogeneity, on the one hand, and to a common transnational language of Buddhism on the other. The disembedding of Buddhism from its indigenous cultures and its re-ebedding in a wide variety of cultures and contexts produces constant transformation. A new “global folk Buddhism,” which has largely accommodated itself to the cultural assumptions of modernity now exists in tension with other forms of Buddhism, like engaged Buddhism, that still have the capacity to challenge these assumptions.

Keywords:   postmodern Buddhism, engaged Buddhism, Buddhism and globalization, global folk Buddhism

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