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Scholarly Selections: Reverend Sunya Pratt: The Life and Legacy of an Early American Buddhist
January 17, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
On April 23, 1936, Reverend Sunya Pratt was ordained as a minister at the Tacoma Buddhist Temple. Local and national newspapers described the ceremony, calling Rev. Pratt the “First White Buddhist Priestess,” a label that later scholars have called into question. Yet at a time when few Westerners converted to Buddhism, let alone became teachers, Rev. Pratt joined a sangha–or spiritual community–of Japanese Americans. Over the next 50 years, she became an important leader for Jodo Shinshu Buddhists in the Puget Sound region. This talk will share a research project that explores the legacy of Rev. Pratt within the context of the history of Tacoma and American Buddhism.