Origins

All of these scholarly criticisms are vital to contemporary understandings of Buddhism, but critics must always be wary of seeming to continue Western attempts at intellectual dominance, as Western-influenced interpretations of Buddhism within Asia are, in turn, criticized by new generations of Western scholars. They must also be careful to avoid seeming to criticize all forms of Buddhism that have been exported to the West, potentially casting aspersions on the legitimate and sincere along with the spurious. It is also important to recognize that Buddhism has changed and adapted to different historical times and different cultural contexts many times in the past. Both the changes, and the criticism of the changes, are necessary and compelling aspects of the evolution of tradition — a process that is itself a worthy and often neglected object of study.


Study Questions:
1.     What is meant by the “Protestantization" of Buddhism?
2.     How has the hegemony of Western religious thought change Buddhism?
3.     What about Buddhism has become popular in the West? How does this differ from the emphases of Buddhist monks?

Back to Religion Library