Published on February 7, 2008
Buddhism in Popular Culture http://www.quangduc.net/BoTatQuangDuc/25photo.html: Buddhism in Popular Culture http://www.quangduc.net/BoTatQuangDuc/25photo.html Three Main Topics: Three Main Topics Brief History of Spread of Buddhism Introduction of Buddhism to the United States American-Buddhism; American Buddhism in Popular Culture Early Spread of Buddhism: Early Spread of Buddhism Buddhism begins in India; Buddhists are currently less than 1% of the population 250 BCE King Ashoka spread Buddhism to Burma Buddhism mixes with local/indigenous religions Map Buddhism Comes to US: Buddhism Comes to US 1893 World Parliament of Religions, in Chicago, introduction of American scholars to Buddhism and Buddhist scriptures Is Buddhism a religion or ethics? Among topics are the afterlife, heaven and hell, as well as moral precepts. Buddhism appeals to Western philosophers who are looking beyond Christian Theology. Slide6: Akira Kurosawa’s Cultural Influence Yojimbo-1961: Fist Full of Dollars, High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider Character: Sanjuro Kuwabatake, ex-Samurai, detached killer First character to be a religious outlaw Slide7: Oriental Monk and the Western Outlaw is reconfigured in religious terms the specifically religious tensions of the Western are emphasized The outlaw provides vengeance or retributive justice without responsibility Slide8: The Oriental Monk and Orientalism The stereotype “The Oriental Monk”- in Film Broken Blossoms or the Yellow Man and the Girl, 1919 “Orientalism”: a network of representations of countries and people of the East; instead of an unbiased portrayal, these representations betray interests and concerns of the West Music Industry of 60’s and 70’s: Music Industry of 60’s and 70’s The Beatles and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi “Nirvana” (90’s) “The Tao of Physics” The Karate Kid Recap : Recap The cultural nihilism of Europe and the West, as well as imperialism and exploration created the conditions for the entry of new philosophies and religions. Buddhism appealed to the intellectual trend of Western philosophy (and theology). Buddhism in America: Buddhism in America How do we understand the proliferation of Buddhist images in popular culture? Do these images conform to the local Buddhisms of Japan or China (or to traditional Buddhism)? Is Orientalism at work in these cultural texts?