Chenxing Han with Sharon A. Suh

Despite the fact that two thirds of U.S. Buddhists identify as Asian American, mainstream perceptions about what it means to be Buddhist in America often whitewash and invisibilize the diverse, inclusive, and intersectional communities that lie at the heart of American Buddhism. Chenxing Han's book, Be the Refuge (North Atlantic Books) is both critique and celebration, calling out the erasure of Asian American Buddhists while uplifting the complexity and nuance of their authentic stories and vital, thriving communities. Drawn from in-depth interviews with a pan-ethnic, pan-Buddhist group, Be the Refuge is the first book to center young Asian American Buddhists’ own voices. Chenxing Han appears in conversation with Sharon A. Suh, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University.

“In this impressive debut, Buddhist chaplain Han offers an illuminating analysis of the intersection of race and privilege within American Buddhist communities.” -Publishers Weekly.

“In this vivid and nuanced presentation of Asian American voices, Han offers what many of us have been longing for: young voices grappling in deep and caring ways with one of the central issues of our time: how we might build a more inclusive Buddhist community—one big enough to hold our multiple identities, whether of race, ethnicity, and culture, or of gender and tradition. This book is both impressive and necessary.” —Jan Willis.

Chenxing Han is a Bay Area-based writer whose publications have appeared in Buddhadharma, Journal of Global Buddhism, Lion's Roar, Pacific World, Tricycle, and elsewhere. 

Co-presented by The Elliott Bay Book Company and Seattle University College of Arts and Sciences. 

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Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists Cover Image
ISBN: 9781623175238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: North Atlantic Books - January 26th, 2021

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
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