Salguero, C. Pierce. 2019. “Varieties of Buddhist Healing in Multiethnic Philadelphia,” Religions 10.48; doi:10.3390/rel10010048 [Open Access].
Salguero, C. Pierce. Forthcoming. “Conversations About Buddhism and Healthcare in Multiethnic Philadelphia.” In C. Pierce Salguero (ed.), Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Sources. New York: Columbia University Press.
Statement of Purpose
This website is home to a collaborative multimedia digital humanities project that explores the influence of Buddhist institutions, practices, and cultural orientations on the healthcare landscape of Philadelphia. Our project’s main purpose is to generate conversations and improve understandings about the close relationship between two of the most important facets of human experience, religion and health.
We hope this website will be useful for teaching and research related to religious and medical pluralism in the U.S. We specifically intend it to amplify frequently overlooked non-white and non-native-English-speaking voices within the study of American Buddhism.
The interdisciplinary nature of the project is reflected in the makeup of the advisory board. The P.I. is an interdisciplinary scholar with background in history of medicine, Buddhist studies, and anthropology. Other members of the team bring strong backgrounds in documentary filmmaking, anthropology, Chinese religions, digital humanities, history, religious studies, and science and technology studies. The project is thus intended to make important contributions to multiple fields simultaneously.
Aside from a few minor articles that have focused narrowly on one particular temple or group of practitioners, there have been no large-scale studies of the role of the Buddhist temple in shaping health-seeking attitudes and behaviors in the U.S. Meanwhile, the study of American immigrant communities has never been more important than at this particular moment. American politics and national discourse are becoming increasingly fractured along ethnic, religious, cultural, and racial lines, and we are witnessing radical changes in both national healthcare and immigration policies. We are of the belief that it is an urgent priority to measure, record, and understand how communities are responding to changing healthcare needs, and how they are turning to religious organizations for information, guidance, and support. The data illuminated by our project is thus of enormous and obvious relevance to healthcare policymaking, as well as to our understanding of daily life in American urban centers.
Our pedagogical goals and teaching methods are described separately on our Pedagogy page.