Western Buddhism in the Russian Federation

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 26, 2019

Western Buddhism in the Local Context of the Russian Federation: The Case of the Russian Association of Diamond Way Buddhists of the Karma Kagyu Tradition

Valentina Isaeva
Saint-Petersburg State University

How Buddhist organizations adapt to new environments appears to be the key question defining their activities and the possibility that they will attract new followers. This article considers the case of the Russian Association of Diamond Way Buddhists of the Karma Kagyu tradition in the context of the social and cultural milieu of the Russian Federation. In particular, it looks at significant features of historical development and legislative regulation of the religious sphere in Russia and how Diamond Way as a Western Buddhist organization has implemented culture politics to correlate its ethics with the local environment and to create cultural coherence with the broader Russian society. The research explicates four main guidelines of the culture politics of Diamond Way: (1) integration into the sociocultural environment of the city and the country; (2) assertion of its traditionality on the territory of the Russian Federation; (3) political neutrality in the public sphere; and (4) a variety of leadership styles. Read article

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