With Jeffery Paine, author and former literary editor of The Wilson Quarterly and Commentator Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School.

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E-mail questions for the author to dialogue@wwic.si.edu.

Thirty years ago, Tibetan Buddhism was a religion of an isolated mountain people. Then, in 1959, the Chinese invaded Tibet, targeting Buddhist monks and monasteries for elimination. The Dalai Lama and other monks and lamas made their way into exile in India. It was there they began to attract Western disciples among the throngs of hippies and other seekers who migrated to India in the 1960s and 1970s wanting to study meditation and techniques to reach enlightenment. Some of these lamas made it all the way to America, and Tibetan Buddhism soon became the most rapidly growing religion in the West. In his newest book, Re-enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West, author Jeffery Paine describes the religion's fateful migration and the eccentric personalities that hastened its spread westward.

Comments About the Book

"A richly informative, hugely entertaining account of Tibetan Buddhism's arrival in the West. I recommend this lucid, thoughtful and lively book to everyone interested in the remarkable story of how the East met (and changed) the West in the 20th century." –-- Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage.

"Jeffery Paine is an unusual voice in American letters – one steeped in the wisdom of the East and yet infused with a knowing and witty sensibility that is profoundly Western. Re-enchantment is a delight, a work of education and demystification that entertains and instructs on every page." –-- Shashi Tharoor, author of The Great Indian Novel and India: From Midnight to the Millennium.