World Religion: Zen Buddhism

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Buddhism is world religion that is categorized as almost the third largest, with roots in Asia. The Buddhists are reported by traditional media to have been controversial in the 1960s, in the United States, which implored the complete practice of pure Buddhism, which is a belief in the teachings of Buddha. The teachings of Buddha, emphasizes the spiritual correctness and the upholding of morality at all costs, regardless of social status.

Zen Buddhism, which is one of the most common Buddhism practices, appeared to more of a social movement than religious discourse as was viewed by early western religious scholars. The Zen Buddhism was started in Japan, by Asian scholars who attempted to use the available authority vessel as podiums to further political interests, that aimed at protecting or standing up for the cultural sector within the society in the United States (Van Voorst, 2012). The Zen leaders reportedly became converts of their religious affiliation taking the protestant dimension to counter the vices against the Asian population during the sixties. The Zen worldly asceticism appeal to Americans in the practice of virtuous conducts aims at enforcing the supremacy control to counter the existent cultures in the US. 

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The spread of Zen Buddhism can be attributed to the historical civil wars of the United States, that saw the need for every race to reexamine their social history so as to stand up to the social identity distinguishing social groups and their interest from the rest of other preexistent spiritual groups in the United States. 

The history of immigration to the United States points the suffering and maltreatment of the foreigners by the natives, catapulted by imperialism. Buddhism became paramount to defined sections of the American population, eventually seeing its characterization as broad sectarian, culturally diverse and ethnic mission. The notion of founders of the Zen Buddhism was to institutionalize Buddhism as a religious, spiritual source (Van Voorst, 2012). However, the practices of Buddhists such as the worship of idols ignited heated historical debates between different sectors of the United States population mitigating its widespread and influence, which eventually brought about social-religious tagging of Buddhism as a religion of the Easterners.

Zen Buddhism having been limited by the cultural indifferences such as the Language, attempted to reinforce the practice of Buddha doctrines to present the concerns of the vulnerable and suffering families in the post-1965 cultural wars (Van Voorst, 2014). The no reception of Buddhism by the Westerners like other denominations sparkled the discrimination against the enforcement of Asian cultural beliefs and practices. However, its popularity grew with cultural transformations and consistent culture wars amongst the different races within the United States.

Subscribers who vowed to uphold moral values and common beliefs that were shared by all engineered Zen Buddhism towards reclaiming the complete commitment to the religion (Van Voorst, 2014). The social interaction between the Asian communities and other American races as well sparkled the spread of Buddhism; despite facing critic by westerners as an attempt to smear back the pains and sufferings accounted by historical injustice. The Westerners claimed that Buddhism attempted to mimic Christianity among other western religious practices, a strategy that was visional to take over power from hands of natives to foreigners. The westerners, before their mass conversion, viewed Buddhism as a cultural baggage that lacked the value addition aspect to life other than limiting the social autonomy of followers.

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  1. Van Voorst, R. E. (2012). RELG: World. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
  2. Van Voorst, R. E. (2014). RELG: World. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
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