Studying Sites of Buddhist Leisure: A Discussion of Justin Thomas McDaniel’s Architects of Buddhist Leisure
Justin McDaniel’s most recent book theorizes ‘Buddhist leisure’ through a critical comparison of public Buddhist sites in several countries. He aims to show how the people who create and visit these places see them as transcending the boundaries often thought to separate secular and religious spheres of life. Grounded in closely observed studies of sites in Japan, India, Singapore and elsewhere, McDaniel argues that these practices of leisure reflect a growing Buddhist ecumenism that is at least partially the result of new technologies of construction and global communication. The discussion, organized by Thomas N. Patton, brings together a group of scholars with differing disciplinary and regional areas of expertise to reflect on the claims and implications of the book.