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Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 7:00pm

Live Webinar


Join Chenxing Han and Dr. Jessica Main in conversation on Chenxing Han's book, Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists.

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.

"Han offers an illuminating analysis of the intersection of race and privilege within American Buddhist communities.” 
~ Publishers Weekly

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. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MA in Buddhist studies from the Graduate Theological Union. After studying chaplaincy at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California she worked in spiritual care at a nearby community hospital in Oakland. She is the author of Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists, published by North Atlantic Books.

Dr. Jessica Main is an associate professor at the Department of Asian Studies, UBC. She began work at UBC in 2009 as the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation Chair and Director of UBC’s Buddhism and Contemporary Society Program. In 2014, the program was renamed The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society and forms part of a network of academic institutions and scholars around the world. Her research interests include modern Buddhist ethics, social action, and institutional life in East and Southeast Asia.