Training vs. Education in Forming Won Buddhist Kyomus in the USA



Abstract.  An historically familiar tension in East Asian Buddhism between meditation and cultivation in broad learning has appeared in discussions and planning for preparing ministerial students in Won Buddhism. This paper reviews the history of preparation in this order, which was founded in 1916. While the alternatives of training based on practice and education based on classroom intellectual experience have occurred in Won Buddhism, the tension has appeared within the recently founded Won Institute of Graduate Studies in the USA in a clear manner. While the pre-ministerial students coming from Korea have preferred the experiential/practical emphasis, it is recognized that graduate education in the USA normally requires broader learning and critical thinking. The faculty of Won Institute respects both strategies and their respective, almost incompatible, goals, and has tried to create a curriculum embracing both. This effort is described and viewed in the context of Won participation in a culture of pluralism and interreligious relations.