This annotation was written back in December, when I was first learning the basics of how to do research in the Humanities. I felt it would be interesting to have a comparison of early research from December to my final product from May which is linked (here)!
Research Question from back in December: What are the reasons for the rise of Buddhism in the west and how has its popularity changed over time?
Abeysekera, Radhika. “The Appeal of Buddhism in the West.” BuddhaSasana, 2 Aug. 2003, www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha276.htm.
Abeysekara starts by describing how Buddhism has integrated itself into other western religions, specifically citing monks who have adopted the Buddha Dhamma. The spread of the teachings by religious figures contributed to the Dhamma’s rise in the United States. The path to freedom is an important interest of Americans who adopt Buddhism as part of their lifestyle. Abeysekara analyzes the importance of the nature of people who adopt the freedom tradition. The conclusion is that the typical Buddhist in America is wealthy, educated, and living comfortably. Upper class people in America have lost faith in an omnipotent God, especially with world events like the September 11th attacks. They want something to do with their time, but do not have an interest in an institutionalized religion worshiping a direct god. The source is important for understanding the kind of westerners who adopted Buddhism, and their reasons for wanting to study and immerse themselves within the faith.