The Global Buddhism blog is dedicated to discussing the global character of Buddhism both historically and in the contemporary world. The idea to set up the blog emerged out of conversations between the editors of the Journal of Global Buddhism (JGB), an academic journal devoted to understanding and analysing the relationship between Buddhist teachings, institutions and practitioners in relationship to processes that broadly fall under the rubric of “globalisation”.
There are a couple of reasons for setting up the blog. First, we wanted to provide a bridge between scholarly work being done in the Journal and broader conversations about the role of Buddhism globally. It makes use of the speed of blogging compared to scholarly publishing to focus on things that are relevant to the Journal’s themes but which do not necessarily find their way into scholarly articles. Naturally the blog posts here, while broadly connected to the focus of the JGB, do not necessarily reflect and mirror the academic intention and perspective of the journal as a whole. Second, we also wanted the blog to serve as a place for announcements of relevant conferences, seminars, publications and so on. In this way it seeks to make use of one of the strengths of blogging — its ability to engage with issues and events as they happen — to comment upon and (hopefully) generate productive discussions of contemporary developments, and to provide a useful resource for people interested in understanding the global character of Buddhism.
Personally, one of the central questions that I want to pursue here is to interrogate what is meant by “global Buddhism”. In other words, I want to treat this as an open question, as a problem to be investigated rather than a straightforward statement of fact. How can we say that Buddhism is global? What is meant by “global”? And what, for that matter, is meant by “Buddhism”? Both of these are actually quite slippery terms. One of the nice things about blogging is that it allows for the juxtaposition of many examples, presented in relatively short form that, over time, provide the outline of a more detailed landscape. It is my hope that in this process new insights, understandings and connections will emerge.
While this blog was set up with the input of the other editors of the JGB, the views expressed here, unless otherwise noted, are entirely my own or of other individual contributors.
(Managing and Technical Editor, Journal of Global Buddhism)