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MAKING BUDDHISM WORK: TIBETAN BUDDHISM IN THE U.S. AT DREPUNG GOMANG CENTER FOR ENGAGING COMPASSION AND BEYOND

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title
MAKING BUDDHISM WORK: TIBETAN BUDDHISM IN THE U.S. AT DREPUNG GOMANG CENTER FOR ENGAGING COMPASSION AND BEYOND
author
Campbell, Caleb
abstract
This work argues that Tibetan Buddhist groups, such as Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion (DGCEC) in Louisville, Kentucky, adapt to three major challenges in the United States. First, in response to the historical denigration of Tibetan Buddhism, DGCEC and the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy-in-exile jettison elements of Tibetan Buddhist doctrine and praxis such as deity veneration and historical sectarianism. Second, DGCEC confronts charges of irrationality by internalizing individualist and scientific epistemologies to emphasize the secular rationality of Tibetan Buddhist teachings. Third, I engage DGCEC’s portrayal of the deity Green Tara as a response to the challenges of Americans assuming religious minorities will be anti-woman and associating Tibetan Buddhism with sexual tantric practice. I engage how each of these solutions ironically also cause problems for the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in the U.S.—rising sectarianism, the incorporation of problematic Western prejudices, and limiting the liberative principles of non-duality in tantric ritual. I conclude by exploring the sociopolitical implications of building a respectable Tibetan-American Buddhism given the vexed politics of Tibetan autonomy.
subject
American religion
Buddhism
Gender studies
Modernity
Secularism
Tibetan Buddhism
contributor
Ford, James (committee chair)
Glauz-Todrank, Annalise (committee member)
Johnston, Lucas (committee member)
date
2022-05-24T08:35:45Z (accessioned)
2022 (issued)
degree
Religion (discipline)
embargo
2024-05-23 (terms)
2024-05-23 (liftdate)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/100715 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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