The question of a western Buddhist orientation towards or away from modernity is not quite so clear cut.
In fact, it is extraordinarily complex, but also extremely fascinating.
Of course. It's impossible to capture the complexity in one paragraph.
How many western practitioners became Buddhists as a reaction against modernity? Is this automatically problematic as you assume? Why?
Well, it depends on which aspects of modernity we're talking about. A long time has passed, and so the memories and motivations have faded, but I turned to the Dharma because (1) I was suffering, and (2) I thoroughly disliked consumerism (a manifestation of modernity). Yet, other intellectual aspects of modernity motivated me to accept Dharma.
If I must be honest, I confess that I never venture too far away from the Kantian injunction to saphere aude (dare to use your own understanding)......but I know plenty of practitioners who do just this to squarely reject the instrumental rationality which defines modernity, and who find the political and moral thought of Locke, Rousseau et al far inferior to what can be found in non-European traditions.
Anyway, you've struck upon a question of great interest to me. Another thread perhaps?
Sure. I'd be interested to hear more of your thoughts.
All the best,