Many Petals of the Lotus: Five Asian Buddhist Communities in Toronto
Published: June 1999© 1999
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 352 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 8.98
352 Pages, 6.00 x 8.98 x 0.74 in
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Toronto sustains a remarkable variety of distinct Buddhist communities. Over sixty Buddhist temples and associations represent a diversity of ethnic, national, and linguistic identities. Here, for the first time, is a rigorous, richly detailed, comparative examination of several groups within five Asian Buddhist communities: Japanese-Canadian, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Chinese.
With an intimate knowledge of her subject matter, McLellan documents each group's establishment in Canada, and the specific shape of that group's practice today. She examines how innovative forms of worship and ritual services developed from the group's confrontation with Canadian social attitudes, constraints, and policies, and how transplantation acts as a catalyst for alterations in gender roles for both Sangha (ordained clergy) and laity. Buddhism, in responding to unstable local, national, and global realities, plays a crucial role in maintaining and reinforcing ethnic identity, and in coping with the stress of emigration.
Shedding light on unfamiliar concepts and presenting a wealth of new information, Many Petals of the Lotus is an essential source book for professionals, and compelling reading for anyone interested in the changing face of Buddhism.
'Many Petals of the Lotus is among the most revelatory books I've come across-or even heard of in Canada. Janet McLellan provides immense and minutely detailed information about the origins of the differences within and between each of the five Asian Buddhist communities she surveys. The scope of analysis is exceptionally diverse. Each chapter contains a wide-ranging cataloguing and superbly multifaceted analysis of the many aspects of Buddhist belief and practice, while a valuable additional focus is the role Buddhism plays in each group's mechanisms for cultural maintenance in Canada and in each individual's ethnocultural identity.'Edward Herberg, Department of Sociology, Erindale College, University of Toronto