Charles Prebish is among the most prominent scholars of American Buddhism. He has been a pioneer in studying the forms that Buddhist tradition has taken in the United States. Now retired, he has written this unusual new book, An American Buddhist Life: Memoirs of a Modern Dharma Pioneer (Sumeru Press, 2011). The book tells the story of Prebish’s role in bringing the field of American Buddhism to prominence. The difficulties he faced in establishing American Buddhism as a legitimate field of study, and in trying to be recognized as a “scholar-practitioner,” will resonate with up-and-coming scholars trying to carve out a new niche for their scholarship. The book is filled with anecdotes about recognized authorities in Buddhist studies, providing a uniquely personal window into the development of the field in the late 20th century and beyond.
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