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Seager, Richard Hughes

Seager, Richard Hughes

PERSONAL:

Married (wife deceased).

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Religious Studies, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Rd., Clinton, NY 13323. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Historian of religion, educator, and writer. Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, associate professor of religious studies.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Scholarly Achievement Award, Institute of Oriental Philosophy.

WRITINGS:

(Editor and author of introduction) The Dawn of Religious Pluralism: Voices from the World's Parliament of Religions, 1893, foreword by Diana L. Eck, Open Court (La Salle, IL), 1993.

The World's Parliament of Religions: The East/West Encounter, Chicago, 1893, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1995.

Buddhism in America, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Encountering the Dharma: Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhist Humanism, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Richard Hughes Seager is a religious studies scholar who has written primarily about Asian religions in the United States. In his book The World's Parliament of Religions: The East/West Encounter, Chicago, 1893, Seager focuses on how the Eastern visitors to the parliament, who included Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, and others, upstaged the American liberal Christian attendees, who had expected to win over their Eastern visitors to their point of view concerning the establishment of a new world religion. Seager's Buddhism in America is part of Columbia University's "Contemporary American Religion" series and examines various aspects of Buddhism as it has developed in America, such as its various schools and traditions and the Americanization of some aspects of Buddhism. Journal of Religion contributor Franz Aubrey Metcalf noted that the book "does not intend to explore American Buddhist practice deeply. It intends to set American Buddhism in the context of American religion, to introduce Buddhism as American religion; yet it still furthers our understanding of American Buddhism. I hope this book inspires other scholars to follow Seager's lead." Writing in the Pacific Historical Review, Tetsuden Kashima commented: "It is a fine introduction to the many complex issues and questions that Buddhists face as they gain acceptance into a new religious milieu. It is a very useful and valuable volume on the history and reasons for the popularity of Buddhism in America." Leo D. Lefebure, writing in the Christian Century, called the book "a very accessible survey."

Seager continues his examination of Buddhism in Encountering the Dharma: Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhist Humanism, which focuses on a prominent Japanese Nichiren movement as an expression of liberal, modernist Buddhism. Referring to the book as "a readable and engaging study," a Publishers Weekly contributor added that the author "capably infuses the book with a strong first-person element."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Buddhist-Christian Studies, 2002, Clarke Hudson, review of Buddhism in America, p. 217.

Canadian Historical Review, March, 1997, Ramsay Cook, review of The World's Parliament of Religions: The East/West Encounter, Chicago, 1893, p. 159.

Christian Century, July 5, 2000, Leo D. Lefebure, review of Buddhism in America, p. 731.

Journal of Church and State, winter, 2002, Nikolas K. Gvosdev, review of Buddhism in America, p. 157.

Journal of Religion, July, 2001, Franz Aubrey Metcalf, review of Buddhism in America, p. 512.

Pacific Historical Review, November 2001, Tetsuden Kashima, review of Buddhism in America, p. 684.

Publishers Weekly, November 15, 1999, Jana Reiss, review of Buddhism in America, p. S15; January 30, 2006, review of Encountering the Dharma: Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhist Humanism, p. 66.

ONLINE

Hamilton University Web site,http://www.hamilton.edu/ (July 22, 2006), brief faculty profile of Richard Hughes Seager.

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