Welcome to our blog, ‘Building Buddhism’, where we talk about our on-going research into Buddhist buildings in England. We will regularly blog from each of our research sites, sharing reflections on the meaning and significance of these buildings for Buddhist communities.
The research runs from September 2013 until September 2014. Over the life of the project, we plan to visit 16 different buildings, alongside running a large online survey that will be open to all Buddhist communities in England. The results of the research project will be written up into a report for English Heritage and also into an academic journal article. We will also use this blog to publicise our research findings.
This research has been funded by English Heritage in order to increase their knowledge of minority faith buildings in England. English Heritage exist to preserve the heritage of buildings and sites across the country, and you can find out more on their website: www.english-heritage.org.uk.
As well as our reflections (which will include our academic musings, too) we will be sharing some of the photographs we are taking as we travel around the country, visiting buildings large and small, old and new, renovated and purpose-built, in rural and urban locations.
Buddhist buildings in the English context are under-researched, but provide a fascinating lens through which to view the development of Buddhist communities on these shores. According to the 2011 census, Buddhism is a growing religion in England and as Buddhist buildings are increasingly becoming part of our religious landscape, it is therefore it is an exciting time to draw attention to them. We hope that this research project is just the beginning….
* If you want to find out more about Buddhism in Britain, particularly from an academic perspective, you could start with Bluck, R. (2006) Buddhism in Britain: Teachings, Practice and Development. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon. This text gives a detailed look at how Buddhism has developed in Britain, through the lens of different Buddhist groups. This book also includes a comprehensive bibliography.