Teachings, Practice and Development
By Robert Bluck
Routledge – 2009 – 234 pages
British Buddhism presents a useful insight into contemporary British Buddhist practice. It provides a survey of the seven largest Buddhist traditions in the United Kingdom, including the Forest Sangha (Theravada) and the Samatha Trust (Theravada), the Serene Reflection Meditation tradition (Soto Zen) and Soka Gakkai (both originally Japanese), the Tibetan Karma Kagyu and New Kadampa traditions and Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. Based on extensive fieldwork, this fascinating book determines how and to what extent British Buddhist groups are changing from their Asian roots, and whether any forms of British Buddhism are beginning to emerge.
Despite the popularity of Buddhism in Britain, there has so far been no study documenting the full range of teachings and practice. This is an original study that fills this gap and serves as an important reference point for further studies in this increasingly popular field.
'Robert Bluck's multifaceted study offers the most up-to-date information on Buddhist groups in Britain in a unique compilation. As his book will have a strong influence on both the academic debate and the popular view of Buddhism in Britain, perhaps some of the questions mentioned above will be answered in a second edition for which there will certainly be a demand. Overall, the book is a significant contribution to the study of contemporary Buddhist traditions - not only in Britain.'
- Zeitsch rift für junge Religonswissenschaft
1. Introduction 2. An Overview of Buddhism in Britain 3. The Forest Sangha 4. The Samatha Trust 5. The Serene Reflection Meditation Tradition (Soto Zen) 6. Soka Gakkai International UK 7. The Karma Kagyu Tradition 8. The New Kadampa Tradition 9. Friends of the Western Buddhist Order 10. Summary and Conclusions