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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

Xenophilia, seen as a type of romanticism, is proposed as an explanation for the tendency

within transpersonal psychology to privilege so-called exotic religious and spiritual traditions,

as opposed to the xenophobic tendency within mainstream Western psychology of

religion and spirituality to privilege the Judeo-Christian tradition. Claims made in a recent

article published in a major psychology journal that Buddhism does not rest on supernatural

faith and is the most psychological spiritual tradition are challenged as examples of this type

of romanticism. Demographic trends showing conversion rates to Buddhism in the US

are contrasted with conversion rates to Christianity in South Korea, also evidencing this

tendency to embrace religious and spiritual traditions in accord with xenophilia.

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