BUDDHISM CASE STUDY
"Buddhism - continuity, change, globalisation"
Since Buddhism was established some 2500 years ago, much has changed and much has stayed the same.
Buddha remains the essential being of knowledge and faith, though some of his teachings have been modified. Though Buddha emphasised equality between the sexes, this ideology has changed throughout the centuries, as there is evident discrimination towards females and nuns. This has come about because of the seemingly natural predisposition of males to want to dominate. At the Nan Tien Temple, we did not see many monks around because they were elsewhere, doing more important things, the nuns were left to teach the school children and tourists. After visiting the Nan Tien Temple, and seeing the somewhat uptight nuns there, I suspect that this is also a change within the belief system. Buddha had taught tolerance and encouraged Buddhists to help and teach other people, though the Nan Tien Temple did not quite display this belief.
I feel that, from my personal experience (prior to studying Buddhism) that Buddhism has not had a great impact on the wider society. I think that this is immediately linked to the lack of knowledge about Buddhism. It seems that, while there are Buddhist groups in Australia, generally Australian society feels no great need for another religion to follow. Buddhism is, of course, a significant religion throughout the world, with many countries practising it as their "official" religion.
When visiting the Temple, it was clear that globalisation has had a big impact on Buddhism. Firstly the fact that it has organised school excursions was a big hint. The gift shop was also one. The temple also has accommodation for tourists - very modern and commonly seen hotel rooms, with televisions, radios and coffee jugs. In becoming commercially available to...