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Buddhism and the West: the growth of western interest in Buddhist ideas

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  1. History and explanation of the encounter between Buddhism and Western culture in the West
    1. First encounter: indifference before rejection of Buddhism
    2. Interconnectedness: Buddhism as an object of romance and rational scientific knowledge
    3. Engagement: establishment of the practice of Buddhism
  2. Adaptation of Buddhist ideas and practices in Western Society
    1. Theory
    2. Practice
    3. Limits

Buddhism is not only a religion. This spiritual tradition is also a philosophy, a system of ethics and practices as an orientation on the road of life based on the teachings of the Buddha.

According to Pew Forum on religion and public life research in 2010, Buddhism is a world religion. Indeed, 7% of the world population is Buddhist, and 90% of them live in Asia. That is, 10% of them live in other regions, particularly in the West due to immigration but also because of religious conversion.

As contrasted with the Orient or the East, Western Society has its roots in Greco-Roman civilization and Christianity in Europe. Moreover, this part of the world has been influenced by the Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, the expansive colonialism of the 15th-20th centuries and more recently Industrial Revolution before the implementation of capitalism, materialism, rationalism and individualism in its society. As well as having a geographic meaning including Europe and its former European colonies like America, Russian Northern Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the West has thus a cultural and historic definition. At first sight, this part of the world has nothing in common with Asia and its Buddhist tradition.

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