Date of Award
Marc D. Landry
Connie Z. Atkinson
Andrea C. Mosterman
Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a Japanese new religious movement present in 192 countries. Despite the substantial amount of academic work that has been produced on SGI’s overseas expansion, many scholars continue to overlook the local context when analyzing the organization’s global presence. This paper is based on oral history interviews and examines the experiences of five members of the SGI-USA New Orleans Buddhist Center, located in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. This thesis argues that many SGI practitioners choose to join and remain in the organization because it fills specific spiritual and emotional voids in their lives, creates an inclusive environment in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender, and allows them to hold leadership roles. Utilizing oral histories to analyze the experiences of members of new religious movements like SGI might contribute to a better understanding of the successful global reach of these groups.
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Madueño, Lorvelis Amelia, "'Seeds of Happiness': An Oral History of Members of Soka Gakkai International-New Orleans" (2020). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 2838.