【摘要】When the first wave of Burmese immigrant Buddhists set foot on American soil in the late 1960s, they came into contact not only with a variety of forms of Buddhism not found in their native Burma, but also with white or convert Buddhism, whose legacy includes the specter of an Orientalist and racist past, often hardly acknowledged, yet rarely, if ever, entirely absent from the discourse within white Buddhism. Vestiges of the latter can still be seen today, from the development of a de facto two-Buddhisms typology in American Buddhism; from the controversy surrounding who represents "American Buddhism"; and from personal testimony regarding a person's identity as a Buddhist to a smorgasbord approach taken for granted in many centers of white Buddhism. This dissertation contends that race is embedded in these issues not so much in a sense of prejudice or domination as in the sense of racial ideology of white supremacy. White supremacy is used here, in reference not primarily to the more virulent forms of white dominance over non-whites (e.g., slavery), but to a more generic way of describing an hegemonic understanding, on the part of both whites and non-whites, that white Euro-American culture, values, attitudes, beliefs, and practices have become the norm according to which other cultures and social practices are judged.;In this dissertation, I will examine the ways in which the ideology of white supremacy has operated in the two instances in which Burmese Buddhists have interacted with white Americans and the American Culture: First, in the contacts between Burmese Buddhist specialists (monks and lay meditation teachers) and pioneers of the American vipassana movement in the 1960s, and, secondly, in the post-1965 immigration of Burmese to the United States. My thesis is this: that the racial ideology of white supremacy, internalized by the Orientalists of the late Victorian era, has been reinscribed both in the interactions between Burmese Buddhist specialists and white American meditators and, secondly, in the Americanization of Burmese immigrant Buddhists and their religion. At the conclusion of my dissertation, I will have critically examined the following areas which are often downplayed or left unexamined in American Buddhism: (1) the heavily racialized dimensions of the claims made by white Buddhists and sympathizers; (2) the existence of a racial hierarchy in American Buddhism; and (3) the agency of Burmese immigrant Buddhists in adapting their religion to the American context.
【授予单位】Graduate Theological Union.;
【学科】Religion, General.;Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.;Sociology, Theory and Methods.