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Religions 2017, 8(11), 239; doi:10.3390/rel8110239

Black Buddhists and the Body: New Approaches to Socially Engaged Buddhism

Philosophy Department, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC 28778, USA
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race and Religion: New Approaches to African American Religions)
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Abstract

This article deconstructs how Buddhist practitioners of African descent acknowledge racism and challenge predominantly white, affluent Buddhist sanghas that embrace the tenets of Socially Engaged Buddhism. It argues that practitioners of African descent directly acknowledge the social constructs of the black body that result in violent practices such as police brutality and disproportionate black incarceration. To support this argument, I rely on primary texts published by Socially Engaged Buddhists. The results conclude that black Buddhists not only highlight the suffering wrought by racism in the West, they also challenge white sangha members to reckon with the depth of racism in society and in their sanghas. I conclude that black Buddhists, in their acknowledgement of the socially constructed meanings of the black body, offer an important challenge to Socially Engaged Buddhism. View Full-Text
Keywords: black; Socially Engaged Buddhism; racism black; Socially Engaged Buddhism; racism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Vesely-Flad, R. Black Buddhists and the Body: New Approaches to Socially Engaged Buddhism. Religions 2017, 8, 239.

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