“I’m not a Buddhist,” said the Buddhist: identity, religious change and religious orientation

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


The notion of “being Buddhist” is shown as problematic, even for very committed long-term practitioners within traditional Buddhist meditation lineages. Given this, it is not surprising that the process of “becoming Buddhist” is also not well understood. I set out the findings of my doctoral research into this problem, focusing on two aspects: Firstly, I outline the development of a comprehensive model of becoming Buddhist that includes both processual and contextual elements of identity change, and secondly I present a framework for being Buddhist based on Buddhists’ own identity statements. This model can help account for some of the complexities around who ‘counts’ as a Buddhist according to social taxonomers as well as shed some light on how Buddhists talk about identity, which has specific resonances and difficulties in Buddhist thought
Period28 Sep 201230 Sep 2012
Event titleThe British Psychological Society Transpersonal Psychology Section 16th Annual Conference
Event typeConference
LocationScarborough, United Kingdom