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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.


Featured Panelists

Soka Gakkai in America

Soka Gakkai in America

William Aiken

The process of applying Buddhist practice to the many complexities of daily living is one of the strengths of our community.

Jains in America: A Socially-Engaged Second Generation

Jains in America: A Socially-Engaged Second Generation

Brianne Donaldson

Orthodox Jain principles are being directed toward environmental advocacy, meditation, civic and gender equality, interfaith alliances, and community service.

Satisfying the Human Quest for the Sacred

Satisfying the Human Quest for the Sacred

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?

A Future Is Possible: Buddhism in the West

A Future Is Possible: Buddhism in the West

Gary Gach

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.

Sikh-Americans: Drawing on a Rich Heritage

Sikh-Americans: Drawing on a Rich Heritage

Rahuldeep Gill

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.

A Viable Western Buddhism: Four Recommendations

A Viable Western Buddhism: Four Recommendations

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.

American Sikhi and an Environment of Openness

American Sikhi and an Environment of Openness

Lakhpreet Kaur

The pluralism that many spiritualists embrace is reflected in Sikhi.

Daoism in America: Fact and Fiction

Daoism in America: Fact and Fiction

Louis Komjathy

There are various misconceptions about Daoism, including a conspiracy of ignorance, that hinder informed understanding, let alone authentic Daoist practice-realization.

Publicly Engaging Pluralism for Peace

Publicly Engaging Pluralism for Peace

Padma Kuppa

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.

A Future for Buddhism in America?

A Future for Buddhism in America?

Ty Phillips

Buddhism is not about robes, malas, sandals and funny hats; it is a path of emotional freedom.

The Dangers of Pride and a Call for Vinaya

The Dangers of Pride and a Call for Vinaya

Anantanand Rambachan

The future of our tradition depends on its ability to address human problems and to promote the flourishing of all human beings.

Speaking Through the Arts

Speaking Through the Arts

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.