Special Topic Introduction

Buddhism and Psychology


Contemporary Buddhism has been fashioned from cross-cultural interactions between a long history of Asian traditions and the expansionist drive of modernity. As part of this engagement, Buddhism, particularly in the West, has developed a close relation with transpersonal psychology. This essay forms an introduction to the special issue of articles approaching this relation between Buddhism and psychology in different ways. While some articles probe the difference in aims of the two disciplines, some are concerned with the decontextualized uses of Buddhist techniques such as mindfulness, some explore the possibilities of Buddhist practice in cognitive or other psychological terms and some ground Buddhism in ecopsychological concerns as forms of engagement. This paper outlines the historiography of modern Buddhism and introduces the papers in this special issue of IJTS.

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