This idea was originally introduced by P0int in his thread explaining how he and some others have started a network to establish an American Buddhist temple. After reading the thread again, I concluded that it wasn't clearly stated exactly what he's trying to do - that is, establish an American Buddhist tradition, not just a temple founded by and for Americans. I've been in discussion with him on his facebook page and thought I'd bring it up here to explore what an American tradition would look like.
What do you all think? How would an American tradition be different from the others? What would change?
It seems to me that many American Buddhists are attempting to separate what they consider cultural left-overs from their practice so they can, in one way or another, get back to basics, if you will. So practices like amulets, chanting in different languages, deities, etc might be done away with.
I guess it's hard for me to imagine a tradition totally free from the existing branches (Theravada, Zen, Tibetan, Nichiren, etc). And it seems that the tradition, even if unintentionally, would end up resembling one or the other. For instance, I could see a "stripped down" Buddhism looking a lot like the basic Zen schools, or even the basic Theravada schools.
I'm interested to hear what you all think.