This thesis is a study of Tibetan Buddhism as practiced by adult converts in Utah. Semiotic ideology is a thread throughout the paper that functions as an explanatory mechanism for describing the ontological variations between beginning and seasoned practitioners. I show examples of clashing semiotic ideologies that demonstrate differing assumptions in understanding of how the world operates. In Chapter 2, I explore the concept of interiority and the taken for granted assumptions of religiosity in the West. The tensions introduced in Chapter 2 are addressed in Chapter 3, which explores how practitioners resolve concerns about authenticity through reliance on their religious lineage. While most practitioners openly recognize that there is a lack of sameness between practicing Tibetan Buddhism in the US and Tibet, seasoned practitioners are more able to recognize how deeply rooted differences, which I have identified as semiotic ideologies of the West and Christianity, specifically those concerning the self and personhood, are perseverant even after conversion.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Anthropology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sharp-Wang, Hannah, "Authenticity Without Belief in Western Tibetan Buddhist Practice" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9586.
semiotic ideology, religion, interiority, authenticity, lineage, Tibetan Buddhism, Utah