Navigating inclusion: ‘home-making’ in the UK Shin Buddhist community

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This contribution focuses on narratives and experiences of belonging and exclusion among convert members of Three Wheels, a Japanese Shin Buddhist temple in London, to investigate how difference is incorporated into transnational Buddhism. Three Wheels, whose members include both diasporic Japanese and con-vert Buddhist Europeans, occupies a marginal position within both transnational Shin Buddhism and the UK’s Buddhist (and broader religious) landscape. By embracing individual and collective marginality, I argue, priests and members foster affective connections that allow for a shared minority space to emerge where its diverse members can feel at home. To explore the dynamics of this ‘home- making’, I focus specifically on how convert members negotiate their own space in the community and the processes of inclusion and exclusion through which they navigate the linguistic, religious, and cultural barriers they encounter as convert members of a Japanese Buddhist tradition. This discussion of home-making within Three Wheels as a shared minority space highlights the complex dynamics of minority status and marginality in transnational Buddhism. It also shows how, in this case, convert Buddhists have worked with Asian migrants to build what appears to be a successful mixed local Buddhist sangha that accommodates the diverse needs of its members.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReligion, State and Society
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)283-299
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Japanese Buddhism, Shin Buddhism, UK, minority, inclusion, home-making, Jōdo Shinshū, Belonging, Buddhism in the UK

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