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The New BuddhismThe Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition$
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James William Coleman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152418

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152418.001.0001

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Why Buddhism?

Why Buddhism?

(p.185) Six Why Buddhism?
The New Buddhism

James-William Coleman

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of why Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in the West. Much of the new Buddhism's appeal in the postmodern era can be attributed to the unique multilevel response it offers to this crisis of self. On one level, Buddhism, like other religions, offers support for an unstable identity and reinforcements to build our self-esteem. Buddhist seekers may easily come to identify themselves as wiser, more spiritual, and even more hip than their less enlightened brethren. On another level, Buddhism, like the psychotherapies that have shown such an explosive growth in popularity in the postmodern era, can offer considerable help with the reflexive regulation of the self.

Keywords:   Western Buddhism, Buddhists, self, self-esteem, psychotherapies

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