Buddhist Healthcare in Philadelphia: An Ethnographic Experiment in Student-Centered, Engaged, and Inclusive Pedagogy
1. An Inspiration for Student-Centered Pedagogy
2. The Jivaka Project
3. Project Findings
4. Pedagogical Outcomes
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Some portions of this article are adapted from blog posts first published at https://piercesalguero.medium.com (accessed on 4 June 2021), and some portions are adapted from verbiage on https://www.jivaka.net (accessed on 4 June 2021). I would like to thank Melanie Boston and Angela Jeon-Huh for connecting me with some of the scholarship on teaching and learning cited in this paper. I have also benefitted greatly from conversations with Courtney Bruntz, Kin Cheung, Lan A. Li, Scott Mitchell, and Natalie Quli about some of the pedagogical approaches discussed in this essay. I am also grateful for the resource http://teachingbuddhism.net (accessed on 4 June 2021), which follows developments in Buddhist Studies pedagogy. Influential recent publications in that area include Hori et al. (2004) and Lewis and DeAngelis (2017). Other recent highlights include the rising prevalence of panels on pedagogy at the American Academy of Religion since 2018, including the creation of the Buddhist Pedagogy Seminar.
I have written about the integration of my courses in Buddhist studies into the general education curriculum in (Salguero 2021).
See definition at https://www.aanapisi.net (accessed on 4 June 2021).
(See Sanderson 2008)
I do not have permission to publish this student’s name, or the name of other students mentioned below, in association with specific contributions or quotes. However, students who were major contributors to the project have been named in note 10.
Since that time, I have summarized the diversity of Buddhism in Philadelphia in an online article: https://religioussounds.osu.edu/blog/buddhism_philadelphia.
I am particularly grateful to Ann Gleig, Ira Helderman, Wakoh Shannon Hickey, and Scott Mitchell, who took me under their wings during this period and introduced me to the field of American Buddhism. For background in this field, I particularly recommend (Gleig 2019; Helderman 2019; Hickey 2019; Mitchell and Quli 2015).
See details and bibliography about this figure at http://www.jivaka.net/who-is-jivaka/ (accessed on 4 June 2021).
Students who participated as group leaders or who otherwise contributed in a major way to the project include Christina Chen, Ashley Cole, Patrick Kim, Meihang Lim, Alex Medina, Vinh Pham, Ryan Rose, Angelina Wu, Jane Yeung, Sinna Zheng, and Paola Xhuli. Additional research assistance and translation was provided by Courtney Bruntz, Somtanuek Chotchoungchatchai, Jennifer Hunter, Sungsim Kim, Hieu Phung, and Emily S. Wu.
http://religioussounds.osu.edu (accessed on 4 June 2021).
This fact also separates our project from Harvard’s Pluralism Project, which has an unreliable and outdated list of Buddhist organizations in Philadelphia.
The project has not imposed strong boundaries around the category “Buddhist,” and thus has included organizations that scholars have sometimes designated as New Religious Movements instead. As far as this project is concerned, if a group self-identifies as Buddhist, they are included in our project. For discussion of some of these issues related in the case of Won Buddhism, see (Pye 2002; Baker 2012).
In an unexpected crossover from my pedagogy to my scholarly publication, after the project had been up and running for four years, I published an article in Religions detailing some of these health-seeking activities, as well as their implications for the study of American Buddhism. See (Salguero 2019a), and see also excerpts of interviews in (Salguero 2019b, pp. 317–26).
The main findings of the research project are summarized in (Salguero 2019a). There, I argued that neighborhood demographics and other social factors play as important a role as culture and sectarian affiliation in shaping the kinds of healthcare activities temples are involved in.
See (Hickey 2010, 2019; Cheah 2011; Han 2021). See also the influential blogs https://www.lionsroar.com/weve-been-here-all-along and https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/asian-american-erasure-buddhism (accessed on 30 April 2021).
Despite the general critique of textbooks for American Buddhism in (Berkwitz 2004), I have found (Mitchell 2016) to be an excellent textbook for my class. Films I find particularly engaging for students are Ric Burns’ Exclusion Act (2017) for historical background about racism against Asian immigrants in the U.S., Bill Ferehawk and Dylan Robertson’s Aloha Buddha (2011) for early twentieth century challenges facing Japanese American Buddhists in Hawai’I, and Kentaro Sugao’s Streams of Light—Shin Buddhism in America (2013) which picks up where Aloha Buddha leaves off and follows the transformation of Jodo Shinshu into a distinctly American form of twenty-first century Buddhism.
See discussion in (Ryan 2011).
Because I am focused on pedagogy, I have not gotten into detail about these practices in the current article. A more comprehensive analysis is available in (Salguero 2019a).
On “intercultural facilitation” as a pedagogical method, see (Mikk and Bjarnadottir 2017).
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Salguero, C.P. Buddhist Healthcare in Philadelphia: An Ethnographic Experiment in Student-Centered, Engaged, and Inclusive Pedagogy. Religions 2021, 12, 420. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12060420
Salguero CP. Buddhist Healthcare in Philadelphia: An Ethnographic Experiment in Student-Centered, Engaged, and Inclusive Pedagogy. Religions. 2021; 12(6):420. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12060420Chicago/Turabian Style
Salguero, C. Pierce. 2021. "Buddhist Healthcare in Philadelphia: An Ethnographic Experiment in Student-Centered, Engaged, and Inclusive Pedagogy" Religions 12, no. 6: 420. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12060420