Chan Insights and Oversights: An Epistemological Critique of the Chan Tradition

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Princeton University Press, 1996 - Religion - 322 pages
3 Reviews

For many people attracted to Eastern religions (particularly Zen Buddhism), Asia seems the source of all wisdom. As Bernard Faure examines the study of Chan/Zen from the standpoint of postmodern human sciences and literary criticism, he challenges this inversion of traditional "Orientalist" discourse: whether the Other is caricatured or idealized, ethnocentric premises marginalize important parts of Chan thought. Questioning the assumptions of "Easterners" as well, including those of the charismatic D. T. Suzuki, Faure demonstrates how both West and East have come to overlook significant components of a complex and elusive tradition. Throughout the book Faure reveals surprising hidden agendas in the modern enterprise of Chan studies and in Chan itself. After describing how Jesuit missionaries brought Chan to the West, he shows how the prejudices they engendered were influenced by the sectarian constraints of Sino-Japanese discourse. He then assesses structural, hermeneutical, and performative ways of looking at Chan, analyzes the relationship of Chan and local religion, and discusses Chan concepts of temporality, language, writing, and the self. Read alone or with its companion volume, The Rhetoric of Immediacy, this work offers a critical introduction not only to Chinese and Japanese Buddhism but also to "theory" in the human sciences.

  

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Review: Chan Insights and Oversights: An Epistemological Critique of the Chan Tradition

User Review  - Xiaomin Zu - Goodreads

Re-reading the classic. It's still an inspiring read! Read full review

Review: Chan Insights and Oversights: An Epistemological Critique of the Chan Tradition

User Review  - Sage - Goodreads

Think you can toss the word, "Zen" around and know what you're talking about? Pull up a dictionary and read this and get ready to be befuddled. Suzuki was a crock. If you want to begin to pin "Zen ... Read full review

Contents

ChanZen in the Western Imagination
15
Buddhism and Quietism
29
Chan and Indian Mysticism
34
The Apostle Bohidharma
45
Claudel and Buddhism
50
The Rise of Zen Orientalism
52
Suzukis Zen
53
The Western Critics of Suzuki
67
Conflicting Models
177
Dogen and His Times
187
The Ritualization of Time
192
Chan and Language Fair and Unfair Games
195
On the Way to Language
199
Poetical Language in Chan
205
How to Do Things with the Koan
211
InscribingDescribing Chan
217

Nishida and the Kyoto School
74
Rethinking Chan Historiography
89
Places and People
92
The Rise of Chan Historiography in Japan
99
The Cost of Objectivism
110
The Teleological Fallacy
114
Writing Chan History
123
Alternatives
126
The Hermeneutic Approach
135
Toward a Performance Scholarship
145
PART TWO
153
Space and Place
155
Chan and Local Spirits
156
From Place to Space
159
Chan Insights and Divisions
167
Times and Tides
175
Chan Logocentrism
220
Orality in Chan
228
Chan as a Kind of Writing
233
Another Differend
234
Chan Rhetoric
237
The Paradoxes of Chan Individualism
243
Early Buddhist Conceptions
251
Chinese Conceptions
254
The Individual and Power
257
SolitaireSolidaire
261
EPILOGUE
269
GLOSSARY
275
BIBLIOGRAPHY
281
INDEX
317
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Bernard Faure is George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University. He is the author, most recently, of" The Will to Orthodoxy: A Critical Genealogy of Northern Chan Buddhism "(Stanford1997).

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