Asian Religions in American book cover

Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History

Co-Edited with Thomas A. Tweed

Oxford University Press (1998)

Asian religions have a long and intriguing history in America. For over two centuries, Asian immigrants have been coming to America and bringing their religions with them. Some Americans have reacted with alarm to the arrival of heathen religions on American shores, while others have taken refuge in lamas from Tibet, yogis from India, and Zen masters from Japan.

Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History is the first text to show the breadth and depth of the American encounter with Asian religions. Ranging from 1784 to the present, it features over one hundred excerpts and dozens of illustrations drawn from literature, art, music, sports, philosophy, theology, politics, and law. Selections discuss Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Shinto, Confucianism, and Taoism and their places in the American religious landscape. Martial artist Bruce Lee, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, Beatles star John Lennon, Chinese-American writer Amy Tan, African-American activist Frederick Douglass, Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, and dozens of lesser-known immigrants and Asian Americans are all represented.

Acclaim for

Asian Religions in America

A Real Treasure

“This book is a real treasure. Its strength is the freshness of material gathered together for the first time in a single place. I would definitely use it for my course on Religion in Multicultural America.”

– Diana L. Eck, Harvard University

A Well-Chosen Set of Documents

"Tweed and Prothero have done an excellent and judicious job of putting together a rich and well-chosen set of documents that reveal the diverse and complex history and character of Asian religions in America."

– Peter N. Gregory, University of Illinois

Expert Analysis

“The skillful selection and editing of the documents, the useful overviews at the beginning of each section, and the informative introductions to each section…make the work an attractive choice for courses in American religion, Asian and world religions, and the Asian religions in America.”

– Carl T. Jackson, University of Texas, El Paso