Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Final Project Abstracts

Chasity R. Herring -- "Interpreting the Americanization of Buddhism and Hinduism"

The cultural landscape of America is always changing to incorporate the growing multiculturalism among its inhabitants. Tow major Eastern religions, Buddhism and Hinduism, are continually becoming more popular in the United States. The practices of these religions have been affected by the American culture. Methods of worship change, infrastructures change, and meditation practices become mainstream phenomena. The mingling of converts and immigrants from these two eastern religions create a complex network of communal practice and worship that have a direct influence with the social aspects of American life. They are also involved with political and social activism. More importantly, Buddhism and Hinduism integrate American ideals, concepts and even aspects of Christian services to essentially create accessible paths for interested peoples. The result of this integration between Eastern religions and American culture is an interesting example of religious syncretism. The basic Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, practices, and religious goals, as well as changes that are directly related to the development of these religions in America are explored.

Last Update: February 7, 2005