Abstract

abstract:

In this study of four Theravādin organizations in California, I explore the utility of the natal/convert binary construct in describing these organizations and their participants. In addition to the critiques of the model of two Buddhisms available in the literature (e.g., Hickey 2010; Han 2017), I note that conversions across Buddhist sectarian boundaries also challenge the binary. Although I note the benefit of this model in bringing to attention non-Theravāda elements brought by converts, my research demonstrates that the diversity in Asian American-led Theravāda temples in terms of temple participants' ethnic and religious backgrounds, openness to non-Theravāda elements, temple activities, orientation toward meditation practice, and missionary outreach to converts, seekers, and samplers is masked by the umbrella term "natal," which homogenizes these groups.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9472
Print ISSN
0882-0945
Pages
pp. 59-67
Launched on MUSE
2021-11-18
Open Access
No
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