From Modern to Postmodern?
What are the implications of Buddhist modernism as it moves into the postmodern age? Democratization, the increasing roles of women, and further hybridity and dialogue with other religions and with secular cultures are certainly important. So are tensions between radically detraditionalized Buddhism and those re-embracing tradition, between Buddhism as privatized spirituality and socially engaged Buddhism, and between localized and globalizing forms of the dharma. The globalization of Buddhism is leading to increased heterogeneity, on the one hand, and to a common transnational language of Buddhism on the other. The disembedding of Buddhism from its indigenous cultures and its re-ebedding in a wide variety of cultures and contexts produces constant transformation. A new “global folk Buddhism,” which has largely accommodated itself to the cultural assumptions of modernity now exists in tension with other forms of Buddhism, like engaged Buddhism, that still have the capacity to challenge these assumptions.
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