In this article, Payne introduces Tradiitonalism for those who do now know it, and then looks at representations of Buddhism by Frithjof Schuon, Julius Evola, Marco Pallis, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Mircea Eliade, and Huston Smith. He argues that their representations are inevitably dated--given that scholarship has moved on since they wrote--but that that their work should not be dismissed, because of "the depth of influence of the Traditionalist understandings of religion and of Buddhism" (p. 208). He understands Traditionalism as "a dogmatic core belief that provides a systematic hermeneutic" (p. 203), and concludes:
There are two important aspects of Buddhist doctrine that the Traditionalist interpretations overcode, recreating Buddhism in the model of Traditionalist presumptions regarding the nature of human existence, the world, and the path/goal. One is the interpretation of Buddhist ontology within a Neoplatonic framework as simply another instance of a hierarchy of truths. The other is the interpretation of awakening within a Perennialist framework as simply another instance of a single and universal category of mystical experience. Because both Neoplatonism and Perennialism function almost pre-reflectively in American popular religious culture these two acts of overcoding Buddhist doctrines are usually invisible (pp. 208-09).