Sunday, October 26, 2008

Western preference

"The narratives of Buddhism in the United States have ignored the contribution and presence of Mongols. While 'Tibetan' Buddhism remains, arguably, the most visible and popular type of Buddhism in North America, how and why it has achieved this status has not been sufficiently queried.... By taking into account the central role of race and how it is defined and manipulated in U.S. immigration and naturalization law, the experience of Kalmyk Mongol Buddhist immigrants in the 1950s can be recovered. Tracing the life and experience of the Mongol 'Living Buddha' within the context of the west's reception of Buddhism reveals a preference for orientalist versions of Asian religions at the expense of Asian American racial and ethnic identities."

--abstract of "Mongols or Mongolians? And the Strange Career of the 'Living Buddha' in America" by Rudiger Busto

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