The direct goal of the project is to contribute to a more comprehensive and balanced scholarly understanding of how Buddhism is being modernized in its global spread around the world. It will develop the subfield of Buddhism in the West and benefit research, teaching, and student training on the subject. We are striving to formulate a better theoretical framework that accounts for earlier modernizing processes and their often-overlooked links to contemporary Buddhist communities in Asia, Canada and other Western countries.
We will critique mostly unquestioned scholarly assumptions (for example that religious transformations in Canada or America are uniquely tied to essential national characteristics) and instead propose a theoretical model of Canada as being part of a global transformative process that involves extensive transnational networks. Our objective is to employ this framework to stimulate further case studies, to help cultivate and organize this sub field through conference presentations and a co-authored book. Our book will also identify areas and inform approaches for further scholarship, which we will support through the conference we are organizing in year three, as well as an additional co-edited volume that will incorporate some of the papers at that conference.