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2.3.BuddhismInUS - teachings The authors find that most...

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RELIGION WATCH Volume 19 Number 11 September 2004 Religion Watch, a newsletter monitoring trends in contemporary religion, is published monthly. Editor/Publisher: Richard P. Cimino; Contributing Editor: Jean-Francois Mayer. Website: http://www.religionwatch.com . Copyright, Religion Watch, 2004 Buddhist Influence Greatest On Unaffiliated Americans * While Buddhism has had disproportionate influence on Americans in relation to its actual size, it is mostly the non-affiliated who have felt such impact, according to a recent study. In the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (September), Robert Wuthnow and Wendy Cadge write that Americans affiliated with Buddhist groups only number an estimated one to four million, yet the number of people claiming contact with Buddhism or Buddhists has been found to be as high as 25-30 million. Thirty percent of Americans claimed to be very or somewhat familiar with Buddhist
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Unformatted text preview: teachings. The authors find that most Americans come into contact with Buddhism through their workplaces and travel, and by the "cultural capital" accrued from higher education. Contacts facilitated or inhibited by the kind of religious community in which one participates had little to do with the level of contact with Buddhists. Contact with converts rather than with those born Buddhist proved to be the most influential. Evangelical and mainline Protestants, Catholics and Jews were all less likely to be influenced by Buddhism than were people with no religious preference. But Buddhist influence has also been dispersed through non-Buddhist institutions, such as mainline congregations offering meditation seminars and the New Age movement. (Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148)...
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