Flowers on the Rock: Global and Local Buddhisms in Canada

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When Sasaki Sokei-an founded his First Zen Institute of North America in 1930 he suggested that bringing Zen Buddhism to America was like holding a lotus against a rock and waiting for it to set down roots. Today, Buddhism is part of the cultural and religious mainstream. Flowers on the Rock examines the dramatic growth of Buddhism in Canada and questions some of the underlying assumptions about how this tradition has changed in the West. Using historical, ethnographic, and biographical approaches, contributors illuminate local expressions of Buddhism found throughout Canada and relate the growth of Buddhism in Canada to global networks. A global perspective allows the volume to overcome the stereotype that Asia and the West are in opposition to each other and recognizes the continuities between Buddhist movements in Asia and the West that are shaped by the same influences of modernity and globalization. Flowers on the Rock studies the fascinating and ingenious changes, inflections, and adaptations that Buddhists make when they set down roots in a local culture. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Buddhism, religious life in Canada, and the broader issues of multiculturalism and immigration. Contributors include Michihiro Ama (University of Alaska), D. Mitra Barua (University of Saskatchewan), Paul Crowe (Simon Fraser University), Melissa Anne-Marie Curley (University of Iowa), Mavis Fenn (University of Waterloo), Kory Goldberg (Champlain College), Sarah F. Haynes (Western Illinois University), Jackie Larm (University of Edinburgh), Paul McIvor (independent), James Placzek (University of British Columbia), and Angela Sumegi (Carleton University).