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Mid-Century Modern Buddhism: Japanese Americans and the making of American Buddhism

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021
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12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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Dr. Scott A. Mitchell (Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai Professor of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Studies, Institute of Buddhist Studies)

In the mid- to late-1950s, figures such D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and the Beat poets began popularizing Buddhism in the United States. For fifty years, however, Japanese Americans had been building Buddhist communities, publishing Buddhist magazines, and organizing conferences and educational programs to promote Buddhism in America. In this talk, we will explore how these activities are a necessary foundation for the spread of Buddhism and how this labor is often obscured by its own success.

About the speaker:
Scott A. Mitchell is the Dean of Students and Faculty Affairs and holds the Yoshitaka Tamai Professorial Chair at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, CA. He teaches and writes about Buddhism in the West, Buddhist modernism, and Pure Land Buddhism.