Contemporary Buddhism 8 (1):57-68 (2007)

This article argues that contemporary Buddhist memoirs are an important source to investigate and understand the phenomenon of modern Buddhism. Modern Buddhism is a current development in which Buddhists consider their tradition in new ways. The connections between life stories and modern Buddhist traits are striking. No document can get closer to the source of this movement than a life story. In this article I consider this in terms of the memoirs of the German Buddhist nun Ayya Khema and the Sinhalese monk Bhante Gunaratana. Although the figures may not represent all of the categories of modern Buddhism, the reader understands their choices in terms of their entire lives. The reader is constantly faced with the interplay between modern and traditional traits that make up their life stories.
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DOI 10.1080/14639940701295294
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