We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Dixie Dharma

Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South

Jeff Wilson

Publication Year: 2012

Buddhism in the United States is often viewed in connection with practitioners in the Northeast and on the West Coast, but in fact, it has been spreading and evolving throughout the United States since the mid-nineteenth century. In ###Dixie Dharma#, Jeff Wilson argues that region is crucial to understanding American Buddhism. Through the lens of a multidenominational Buddhist temple in Richmond, Virginia, Wilson explores how Buddhists are adapting to life in the conservative evangelical Christian culture of the South, and how traditional Southerners are adjusting to these newer members on the religious landscape.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (226.5 KB)

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (60.7 KB)
pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments are often the final words that we write as we finish our books, but it is appropriate that they go at the front, because it is only through the assistance of others that our projects ever get set in motion. In my case, I am immeasurably indebted to the community at the...

read more

Introduction: Encounters at a Multidenominational Temple in the South

pdf iconDownload PDF (111.0 KB)
pp. 1-16

“Heart Sutraaaaaa.” The sound of our chanting dies away as we finish reciting a famous Buddhist text, our fading voices an expression of the emptiness that the sutra celebrates. Martin, a white-haired gentleman with an equally white mustache and a look of calm concentration, strikes the dark...

read more

1. Bringing a Regional Perspective to American Buddhism

pdf iconDownload PDF (310.8 KB)
pp. 17-46

Before proceeding to a discussion of Buddhism in the South—primarily taken up in the later chapters of this book—it is necessary to lay the groundwork for a regional approach to the subject of American Buddhism. Fortunately, there is a long and fruitful history of regional analysis in the...

read more

2. The Gift of Light: Buddhist Circuit Riders and New Religious Developments in Richmond, Virginia

pdf iconDownload PDF (553.3 KB)
pp. 47-88

Many of the houses along Grove Avenue fly flags—the star-spangled banner, the Virginia state flag, banners with animals or floral designs, as well as the occasional Confederate battle flag. So the five-colored flag sometimes flown outside Ekoji Buddhist Sangha of Richmond does not seem to...

read more

3. The Buddhist Confederacy: Differentiation and Identity in Buddhist Spaces

pdf iconDownload PDF (254.0 KB)
pp. 89-119

Ekoji Buddhist Sangha of Richmond is the only temple in the country that shelters five distinct groups practicing in distinct lineages. These diverse groups have found that, in the decidedly non-Buddhist environment of Richmond, the shared label of “Buddhist” is fundamentally more important...

read more

4. There’s No Such Thing as “Not My Buddhism”: Hybridity, Boundary-Crossing, and the Practice of Pluralistic Buddhism

pdf iconDownload PDF (227.5 KB)
pp. 120-152

It is a bright, chilly January afternoon outside, but it is warm inside at Ekoji as I sit on the floor enjoying a casual after-service discussion with the Pure Land group. Their plan was to study a booklet about bodhisattvas, but as we have spent the time sipping tea and passing a plastic baggie full of...

read more

5. Buddhism with a Southern Accent: American Buddhists in a Southern Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF (233.5 KB)
pp. 153-184

In chapter 1, I laid out a basic approach to studying regionalism in American Buddhism. Throughout this book, I have referred to the fact that Ekoji Buddhist Sangha of Richmond is located in the South, and that this has an effect on the temple. Now in this chapter I turn to the question of regional...

read more

6. The Reality of Our Collective Karma: Slave Trade Meditation Vigil as Southern Buddhist Ritual

pdf iconDownload PDF (280.7 KB)
pp. 185-217

Richmond remembers. It is a city of memory and pride, where the useful past is a treasure trove from which can be drawn resources for politics, religion, art, identity, and, especially, money-making. From Hollywood Cemetery to the Arthur Ashe Memorial, its landscape has been a site of memory...

read more

Conclusion: Buddhas on the Backstretch

pdf iconDownload PDF (383.2 KB)
pp. 218-232

It is as simple as that: people in different parts of America experience Buddhism through lenses and circumstances supplied by the surrounding culture, and Buddhism impacts how those people navigate their regional culture. At root, that is this book’s primary argument. Furthermore, Buddhism...

Appendix: Statistical Data and Questionnaire

pdf iconDownload PDF (60.9 KB)
pp. 233-236


pdf iconDownload PDF (140.4 KB)
pp. 237-260


pdf iconDownload PDF (110.0 KB)
pp. 261-276


pdf iconDownload PDF (274.0 KB)
pp. 277-281

E-ISBN-13: 9781469601816
E-ISBN-10: 1469601818
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807835456
Print-ISBN-10: 0807835455

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2012