Blogging the history of Buddhism’s transmission in the UK

Posted on April 23, 2010


In this blog I aim to collate and present a number of articles and reflections concerning the transmission of Buddhism in the UK from its introduction in the early 20th Century up to the present day.

The 2001 census identified 152,000 people who identified themselves as Buddhists, of which 66,500 were born in the UK. 36% of those stating they were Buddhist lived in London and 38% of Buddhists were white. Today there are a plethora of Buddhist centres, temples and groups “of all traditions and none”. The 2007 edition of the Buddhist Directory lists 32 national organisations and hundreds of centres, 73 of which are in London alone. The subject of Buddhism in the UK is therefore a vast and multi-faceted one, and my objective is not to cover all details, nor to adopt an academic approach. Instead, I hope to present some of the key developments, personalities and activities that have had the most significant impact. This will be from the perspective of the establishment of Buddhism in the UK as an authentic, living transmission. It will include some of the major influences, obstacles and accomplishments on the way.