Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 29, No 3 (2016)

Travelling Theory and Buddhist Sociology

Vince Marotta
Issued Date: 6 Apr 2017


Drawing on the indigenous sociology movement, the paper explores the meaning of Buddhist sociology/social theory, unpacks the persistent binary between East/West that exists within this marriage of ideas and investigates how advocates of Buddhist sociology conceptualize the ‘West’ and ‘Western sociology’. Drawing on representative studies, it will then assess Buddhist sociology’s rejection of the mutilated and threatened sociological self and interrogate the relationship between individual and social suffering within Buddhist sociology. The paper makes three main points: Buddhist sociology homogenizes ‘Western sociology’ in order for it to conform to Buddhist principles, that the relationship between individual and social suffering within Buddhist sociology/social theory is ambiguous and that the appropriation of Buddhism has led to a process of ‘soft’ Othering.

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DOI: 10.1558/jasr.31534


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