Wuhan Journal of Cultic Studies
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Volume 1, Issue 1: 2021
Buddhist NRMs – Soka Gakkai International and Diamond Way Buddhism
Buddhism in the West has been studied by scholars from different fields using various concepts and models to analyze its diverse configurations. Focusing on the groups’ relations to an old Asian religious context, transformations and adaptations have been perspectives for mainly historians of religion, while the focus on their ‘newness’ has made it obvious for sociologists of religion also to compare these with other groups within the category of ‘New Religious Movements’. This article will describe two such Buddhist groups with Asian origin in a Western setting, namely Diamond Way Buddhism and Soka Gakkai in Denmark. While being different in many ways, the two groups also are interestingly comparable with their transnational histories, local developments, institutional structures, charisma agency, sectarian consciousness and general popularity. Their characteristics and developments will be analyzed individually and comparatively as both exemplars of modern Buddhism and Buddhist NRMs.
Buddhism, Buddhist NRMs, Diamond Way Buddhism, Soka Gakkai, Denmark