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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter covers those Buddhist traditions that are largely based in Europe, noting some of the specificities of this history as against the North American with which it is sometimes conflated. While the reception history of Buddhism in Europe stretches back to Alexander, Buddhist organization in Europe begins in the later nineteenth century, with the partial exception of indigenous Buddhisms in the Russian Empire. The chapter discusses Asian-oriented Buddhisms with a strong European base; European neo-traditionalisms founded by charismatic individuals; explicitly new beginnings; and the broader world of “fuzzy religion” with Buddhist components, including New Age, “nightstand Buddhists,” Christian creolizations, secular mindfulness, and Engaged Buddhism. In general terms, European Buddhist traditions reproduce the wider decline of religious institutionalization and boundary formation that shapes much of European religion generally.

Keywords: Buddhism, Engaged Buddhism, creolization, Europe, nightstand Buddhists, mindfulness

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