Buddhism and Africa



Edited by Michel Clasquin and Kobus Krüger © Unisa Dept. Religious Studies 1999.

This volume formally consists of the edited proceedings of a conference on "Buddhism and Africa" organised by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South Africa and held in Pretoria in June 1998. It is also more than that: it is a snapshot of a minority religion at a time when its host society is in transition. In what one is almost tempted to term an un-Buddhist fashion, it freezes a moment in time and space and shows how South African Buddhists and Buddhologists see the position of Buddhism in African, and more specifically South African, society.  How did Buddhism arrive in South Africa? Who brought it? Or perhaps rather, who fetched it? What kinds of Buddhism are practised here and how do the various groups relate to one another? How do Buddhist groups function? Is there a future for Buddhism in Africa and if so, can we expect any truly indigenous form(s) of the tradition, a real African Buddhism, to arise? It was to these questions that we turned at the conference.


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An ancient, beat-up, rusty Chinese bus is the transport to Lhasa from Nepal. It providing an unforgettable travel experience. Visit the ten storey high Potala Palace once the home of the Dalai Lama and his Summer Palace and the monasteries of Sera and Deprung.

Buddhism in Africa: some strategic issues
: Kobus Krüger

The Buddha of suburbia: a nineteenth-century South African imagining:
 Darrel Wratten

Buddhism in South Africa: its past history, present status and likely future
: Louis Van Loo

Zen and the Art of Living:
 Heila Downey JDPS

Fo Kuang Shan in Africa: heritage and future plans
: Master Hui Li

The Kagyu Lineage Tree: its branches in Southern Africa (a personal view)
: Hugh Laue

The Role of Buddhist Groups in South Africa
: Alison Smit

African religion and the Africanisation of Religions - a panel discussion
: Georgina Hamilton & Danile Busakwe

African Buddhists? Some issues in Buddhist transmission across cultures
: Raoul Birnbaum

Ubuntu Dharma - Buddhism and African thought
: Michel Clasquin


Select Bibliography: South African Works on Buddhism

Officially out of print, but a copy can be downloaded HERE.