“American Buddhism: Reinvention or Rediscovery?” A forum at BSC on May 17

a bodhi tree leaf with "Dharma Light Program: Illuminating the Buddhist Path"
Please join us at 6 p.m. on May 17, 2018 for a forum on American Buddhism. (This is the new date for forum originally scheduled in February.)

Dharma Light, a program of the Buddhist Study Center, presents a forum entitled “American Buddhism: Reinvention or Rediscovery?” on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Panelists are Dr. Jeff Wilson and Dr. George Tanabe, with moderator Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki. The venue is the Buddhist Study Center, 1436 University Avenue in Honolulu (see map).

Buddhism was introduced into the United States as early as the 1850s by Asian immigrants and found again in the 1950s by the literary “Beat Generation.” What is “American Buddhism” today and where is it going? Does a new form of Buddhism need to be re-invented for acceptance in America, or do we go “back to the future” and re-discover the Universal Teachings of Sakyamuni?

Explore what over 160 years of the American Buddhist experience tells us about the needs and wants of American society. What resonates with today’s American public? Professors Tanabe and Wilson will respond to questions posed by Reverend Kuniyuki followed by questions and comments from the audience.

Learning opportunities at this session include:

  • Becoming familiar with the history and influences of Buddhism in America.
  • Becoming familiar with the diversity and terminology of American Buddhism.
  • Becoming familiar with what Americans think about Buddhism.
  • Learning how to connect with people “outside the box” of the temple community.

About the Speakers

Dr. George Tanabe, Dr. Jeff Wilson, Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki
Left to right: Dr. George Tanabe, Dr. Jeff Wilson, and Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki

Dr. George Tanabe is Emeritus Professor of Religion, University of Hawaii at Mānoa and President of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai America (BDK America), the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism.

Dr. Jeff Wilson is Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at Renison University College, Ontario, Canada, and the Numata Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies at University of Hawaii at Mānoa.

Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki is Director of the Buddhist Study Center and the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s Office of Buddhist Education.

Organizers encourage ministers, temple presidents, lay leaders, and all those with inquiring minds to attend. There is no registration fee, though donations will be accepted. Beverages and light snacks will be available.

If you have questions or would like to pre-register, please call the Buddhist Study Center at (808) 973-6555.