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February 15, 2021
9780295748467
English
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16 b&w illus.
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v2.1 Reference
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February 15, 2021
9780295748474
English
226
16 b&w illus.
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6.00 Inches (US)
.7 Pounds (US)
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Pure Land in the Making

Vietnamese Buddhism in the US Gulf South

Since the 1970s, tens of thousands of Vietnamese immigrants have settled in Louisiana, Florida, and other Gulf Coast states, rebuilding lives that were upended by the wars in Indochina. For many, their faith has been an essential source of community and hope. But how have their experiences as migrants influenced their religious practices and interpretations of Buddhist tenets? And how has organized religion shaped their understanding of what it means to be Vietnamese in the United States?

This ethnographic study follows the monks and lay members of temples in the Gulf Coast region who practice Pure Land Buddhism, which is prevalent in East Asia but in the United States is less familiar than forms such as Zen. By treating the temple as a site to be made and remade, Vietnamese Americans have developed approaches that sometimes contradict fundamental Buddhist principles of nonattachment. This book considers the adaptation of Buddhist practices to fit American cultural contexts, from temple fundraising drives to the rebranding of the Vu Lan festival as Vietnamese Mother's Day. It also reveals the vital role these faith communities have played in helping Vietnamese Americans navigate challenges from racial discrimination to Hurricane Katrina.

About the Author

Allison J. Truitt is associate professor of anthropology at Tulane University and author of Dreaming of Money in Ho Chi Minh City.

Reviews

"Truitt's ethnography provides a necessary gap in research regarding Vietnamese Buddhism in America,"—Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"[T]he book provides a comprehensive account of this hitherto untold story of Vietnamese Buddhism in the U.S."—PoLAR: Political & Legal Anthropology Review

Endorsements

"The strength of Truitt's work lies in her close reading of lay Buddhist practices. The book makes an important contribution to the study of Asian American religions."—Sharon A. Suh, author of Silver Screen Buddha: Buddhism in Asian and Western Film

"Using the best of immersive ethnography, Allison Truitt traces the evolution of diverse Buddhist temples along the US Gulf South. Moving beyond narratives of assimilation within immigration research, Pure Land in the Making engages forcefully with recent critical discussions on refugee and immigrant settlement to explain the connections among the Vietnamese in the US Gulf South and their homeland. A landmark study. A must read."—Hung Cam Thai, author of Insufficient Funds: The Culture of Money in Low-Wage Transnational Families

9780295748467 : pure-land-in-the-making-truitt
Hardback
226 Pages
$99.00 USD
9780295748474 : pure-land-in-the-making-truitt
Paperback / softback
226 Pages
$30.00 USD

Other Titles by Allison J. Truitt

Dreaming of Money in Ho Chi Minh City

Allison J. Truitt
May 2013 - University of Washington Press
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$99.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in RELIGION / Buddhism / Rituals & Practice

Spatial Dunhuang

Wu Hung
Dec 2022 - University of Washington Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback

Temples in the Cliffside

Sonya S. Lee
Mar 2022 - University of Washington Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback

Religious Tourism in Northern Thailand

Brooke Schedneck
Jun 2021 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback