using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Fall 2011
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 11 52 Buddhists in the total population is signifi- cantly greater than the 1.7 percent who say their religion is Judaism, the equal percentage who say they are Mormon, or the 1.5 percent who give their religion as Anglican/episcopal. (the percentage of people who consider them- selves ethnically Jewish is, of course, consider- ably larger then those who give their religion as Judaism.) Since all of these are considered major American religions, it seems hard to deny the same label to Buddhism. the Pew survey also gives us some fas- cinating information about the growth of Buddhism in America. in addition to ask- ing people about their current religion, the survey also asked them about the religion of their parents’ families, which allows us to gauge how fast different religious groups are growing or shrinking. According to these figures, the fastest-growing group is “non- denominational Protestants,” a diverse cat- egory that includes the members of many of the new megachurches. But since most of the nondenominational Protestants are part of the larger evangelical Christian tradition (which has actually seen a modest decline in its popularity in recent years), the growing number of Protestants who claim no denomi- national affiliation seems to reflect a change in preference in the style of worship among evangelical Christians, rather than a major shift in religious orientation. the only other group growing faster than Buddhists is those with no religion. So if we consider the nondenominational Christians as part of the larger evangelical tradition, as is usually done by sociologists of religion, the available survey data indicates that Buddhists are the fastest-growing religious group in America today, albeit one starting from a relatively small base. the fact that three out of four American Buddhists converted from another religion (or no religion) clearly testi- fies to its success in gaining new members. there is, moreover, evidence that the influence of Buddhism in the West is grow- ing rapidly beyond the circle of its direct par- ticipants. one of the best indicators of how strong Buddhist influence has become in the United States comes from the 2003 religion and Diversity Survey. in this survey, 12.5 per- cent of Americans said Buddhist teachings had “an important influence on their think- ing about religion or spirituality.” Because of its appeal to intellectuals and progressives, Buddhism has long had an especially strong influence on those in the creative professions who help shape the direc- tion of Western culture. And it is now exert- ing a growing influence in other areas that are usually considered beyond the religious sphere. one place where this is clearly the case is the field of psychotherapy. it is not just that Buddhism has a strong personal appeal to many practicing psychotherapists, but its analysis of the causes of human suffering and what to do about them is increasingly influen- tial in therapeutic work. Buddhism’s medita- tion practices have become a popular tool to help patients cope with a variety of serious personal problems, and they form the founda- tion of popular mindfulness-based programs that help participants reduce stress and man- age the pressures of contemporary life. Buddhism in the Public Eye What does the general public think about this rapidly growing religious movement? the short answer is not much at all. Although Westerners are becoming ever more accept- ing of religious diversity, when they think about religion it is still often in monotheistic Judeo-Christian terms that leave little room for alternative viewpoints. religious freedom is, for example, often described as the right to attend any church you want and to worship God in whatever way you wish. Moreover, What image the general public does have of Buddhism is surprisingly negative. To most Americans, Buddhism is still unfamiliar and somewhat strange.