Enlightened America?: A History of Buddhism in the United States

Aug 16, 04:00 PM

On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Joanne, and Nathan, explore the ways “American Buddhism" has adapted and evolved throughout the 20th century.

Today, Americans generally view Buddhists favorably, according to the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, terms like “zen” and “mindfulness” are often used as buzzwords to evoke the religion. However, over the last century, Buddhism wasn’t always viewed as a peaceful practice by a mainstream population. On this episode, Brian, Joanne, and Nathan, explore the ways the religion adapted and evolved throughout the 20th century into a distinctive form of “American Buddhism.”

Image: Lama in meditation, Sikkim, between 1965 and 1979. Source: Library of Congress

BackStory is funded in part by our listeners. You can help keep the episodes coming by supporting the show: https://www.backstoryradio.org/support