'Defining Buddhism(s)' explores the multiple ways in which Buddhism has been defined and constructed by both Buddhists and scholars. In recent decades, scholars have become increasingly aware of their own role in the construction of how Buddhism is represented - a process in which multiple representations of Buddhism compete with and complement one another. The reader brings together key essays by leading scholars to examine the central methods and concerns of Buddhism. The essays aim to illuminate the challenges involved in defining historical, social, and political contexts and reveal how definitions of Buddhism have always been contested.
Karen Derris is Assistant Professor Religious Studies at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. Her research focuses on Buddhist ethics and literature, particularly in the Theravadin traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Natalie Gummer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and Mouat Professor of International Studies at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Her research focuses on translation practices, literary culture, and the ethics of reading in Mahayana Buddhist communities.