The early May Pew Research report on religious trends in America has kindled a firestorm of commentary—attacking and defending, challenging and lamenting, gloating and grieving.
As the religious landscape in America opens up to greater tolerance for different religions or no religions, the possibility of embracing non-Western religious options becomes increasingly acceptable. What happens when Eastern religions engage Western culture, traditions, and norms? In this series, Buddhists, Daoists, Jains, Sikhs, and Hindus consider the future of Eastern religious traditions in the American context. Articles address second-generation faith expressions, public policies, internal challenges, and cultural obstacles.
This topic is part of our summer symposium on the Future of Faith in America. For more resources visit our Future of Faith main page.
The process of applying Buddhist practice to the many complexities of daily living is one of the strengths of our community.
Orthodox Jain principles are being directed toward environmental advocacy, meditation, civic and gender equality, interfaith alliances, and community service.
Thomas A. Forsthoefel
Where will the disaffected go to meet a spiritual hunger, the longing for something more, something that decisively transcends mundane experience and is saturated with meaning, being, and value?
As Buddhism evolves in the West, we might consider how invested in the past the East has been, and how invested in the future the West has been.
If Sikh-Americans serve the needy out of a deep commitment to service, justice, and realizing divine love, then people will know Sikhs for all the right reasons.
Rita M. Gross
Western Buddhism needs to develop to be viable and to be something to which knowledgeable people would willingly devote their lives and energy, as I have done for many years.
The pluralism that many spiritualists embrace is reflected in Sikhi.
There are various misconceptions about Daoism, including a conspiracy of ignorance, that hinder informed understanding, let alone authentic Daoist practice-realization.
It is the Hindu ability to accept and reconcile a multiplicity of identities, paths, and perspectives that will contribute to the American frontier of spirituality and religion.
Buddhism is not about robes, malas, sandals and funny hats; it is a path of emotional freedom.
The future of our tradition depends on its ability to address human problems and to promote the flourishing of all human beings.
Simran Jeet Singh
Although Sikh American art is at a nascent stage, it is an expansive category that draws from a long and storied tradition of Sikh artistic expressions.