Asian religions have a long and intriguing history in America. For over two centuries, Asian immigrants have been coming to America and bringing their religions with them. Some Americans have reacted with alarm to the arrival of heathen religions on American shores, while others have taken refuge in lamas from Tibet, yogis from India, and Zen masters from Japan. Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History is the first text to show the breadth and depth of the American encounter with Asian religions. Ranging from 1784 to the present, it features over one hundred excerpts and dozens of illustrations drawn from literature, art, music, sports, philosophy, theology, politics, and law. Selections discuss Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Shinto, Confucianism, and Taoism and their places in the American religious landscape. Martial artist Bruce Lee, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, Beatles star John Lennon, Chinese-American writer Amy Tan, African-American activist Frederick Douglass, Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, and dozens of lesser-known immigrants and Asian Americans are all represented.
The editors have provided a general historical introduction, an overview of Asian religions, four section introductions, and concise explanatory headnotes for each entry. The volume is further enhanced by helpful reference materials including a detailed chronology, suggestions for further reading, and an index. Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History serves as an exceptional text for courses in Asian religions, world religions, and religion in America, and is also enlightening reading for academics and general readers.