Teaching Buddhism in the West
From the Wheel to the Web
Routledge – 2002 – 264 pages
At a time when the popularity of Buddhism is at a peak in the west, both inside and outside the university setting, scholars and students alike are searching for guidance: How should Buddhism, a religion which is ultimately 'foreign' to western experience, be taught? How should one teach central Buddhist doctrines and ideas? Should one teach Buddhist practise; if so how? Until now, those interested in these and other related matters have been left with little guidance. Despite the wealth of scholarly publications on Buddhist traditions and the plethora of books about meditation and enlightenment, a serious lacuna exists in the sphere of teaching Buddhism.
This book fills this lacuna, by providing a series of thematically arranged articles written by contemporary scholars of Buddhism throughout North America. Some of the major themes covered are the history of teaching Buddhism in Europe and North America (Reynolds, Prebish), the problem of representations of Buddhism in undergraduate teaching (Lewis), the problem of crossing cultural and historical divides (Jenkins), the place of the body and mind in the Buddhist classroom (Waterhouse), alternative pedagogical methods in teaching Buddhism (Wotypka, Jarow, Hori, Grimes) and the use of the Internet as a resource, and metaphor for teaching Buddhism (Fenn, Grieder).