Growth of Asian Influences in America

December 19, 2004

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On December 19, 2004 The San Francisco Chronicle reported, "American pundits tend to look at the world through a very old prism -- they associate globalization as synonymous with Americanization: i.e., how the United States influences the world. What many tend to overlook, in the age of porous borders, is how much the world has changed the United States. Evidence of the Easternization of America is piling up... Eastern religions represent one of those changes. In Los Angeles, there are more than 300 Buddhist temples. Buddhism, writes Diana Eck, professor of comparative religions at Harvard University, 'challenges many Americans at the very core of their thinking about religion -- at least, those of us for whom religion has something to do with one we call God'... All that has been turned on its head. Many a Westerner, tired of materialism, turns slowly inward in search of spiritual uplift, while introversion and ego-dissolving are no longer consuming Asian quests... Tu Weiming, the Confucian scholar at Harvard, said this is a new 'era where various traditions exist side by side for the first time for the picking.'"