From Chinese Chan to Japanese Zen: A Remarkable Century of Transmission and Transformation (Paperback)Steven Heine (author)
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 02/11/2017
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This work provides a survey and critical investigation of the remarkable century that lasted from 1225 to 1325, during which the transformation of the Chinese Chan school of Buddhism into the Japanese Zen sect was successfully completed. The cycle of transfer began with a handful of Japanese pilgrims, including Eisai, Dogen and Enni, who traveled to China in order to discover authentic Buddhism. They quickly learned that Chan, with the strong support of the secular elite, was well organized in terms of the intricate teaching techniques of various temple lineages. After receiving Dharma transmission through face-to-face meetings with prominent Chinese teachers, the Japanese monks returned home with many spiritual resources. Foreign rituals and customs met with resistance, however, and by the end of the thirteenth century it was difficult to imagine the success Zen would soon achieve. Following the arrival of a series of emigre monks, who gained the strong support of the shoguns for their continental teachings, Zen became the mainstream religious tradition in Japan. The transmission culminated in the 1320s when prominent leaders Daito and Muso learned enough Chinese to overcome challenges from other sects with their Zen methods. The book examines the transcultural conundrum: How did this school of Buddhism, which started half a millennium earlier as a mystical utopian cult for reclusive monks, gain a broad following among influential lay followers in both China and Japan? It answers this question by a focusing on the mythical elements that contributed to the effectiveness of this transition, especially the Legend of Living Buddhas.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 420 g
Dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
"This book is a scholarly expedition that follows Zen Buddhism from China to Japan, and through all points in between. Through his erudition, his familiarity with Zen and East Asian Buddhism, and his comprehensive knowledge of related literature, Steven Heine succeeds in evoking the vibration of Zen Buddhism in his readers while enriching and renewing their understanding of the tradition."--Jin Y. Park, author of Women and Buddhist Philosophy
"From Chinese Chan to Japanese Zen showcases Steven Heine's mastery of an array of primary and secondary sources, as well as his outstanding ability to communicate clearly to both scholarly and general audiences. It will be readily appreciated by scholars working in fields such as East Asian Buddhism and Japanese history, as well as by general readers interested in learning about the rich history of Zen." --Mario Poceski, Professor of Buddhist Studies and Chinese Religions, University of Florida
"This is a book that has needed to be written, and we are fortunate that it was Steven Heine who chose to write it. Drawing on his impressive expertise, Heine skillfully illuminates how the Chan school was transplanted into Japan and became the Zen sect. Readers will appreciate his close attention to the cultural and socio-political dimensions of that transmission."--Christopher Ives, author of Imperial-Way Zen
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