How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute Over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China

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University of Hawaii Press, Apr 30, 2010 - Philosophy - 289 pages
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How Zen Became Zen takes a novel approach to understanding one of the most crucial developments in Zen Buddhism: the dispute over the nature of enlightenment that erupted within the Chinese Chan (Zen) school in the twelfth century. The famous Linji (Rinzai) Chan master Dahui Zonggao (1089-1163) railed against "heretical silent illumination Chan" and strongly advocated kanhua (kōan) meditation as an antidote. In this fascinating study, Morten Schlūtter shows that Dahui's target was the Caodong (Sōtō) Chan tradition that had been revived and reinvented in the early twelfth century, and that silent meditation was an approach to practice and enlightenment that originated within this "new" Chan tradition. Schlūtter has written a refreshingly accessible account of the intricacies of the dispute, which is still reverberating through modern Zen in both Asia and the West. Dahui and his opponents' arguments for their respective positions come across in this book in as earnest and relevant a manner as they must have seemed almost nine hundred years ago. Although much of the book is devoted to illuminating the doctrinal and soteriological issues behind the enlightenment dispute, Schlūtter makes the case that the dispute must be understood in the context of government policies toward Buddhism, economic factors, and social changes. He analyzes the remarkable ascent of Chan during the first centuries of the Song dynasty, when it became the dominant form of elite monastic Buddhism, and demonstrates that secular educated elites came to control the critical transmission from master to disciple ("procreation" as Schlūtter terms it) in the Chan School.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Some Background
13
2 The Chan School and the Song State
31
3 Procreation and Patronage in the Song Chan School
55
The Reinvention of the Caodong Lineage in the Song
78
A Dog Has No BuddhaNature Kanhua Chan and Dahui Zonggaos Attacks on Silent Illumination
104
The Caodong Tradition as the Target of Attacks by the Linji Tradition
122
7 Silent Illumination and the Caodong Tradition
144
Conclusion
175
Notes
183
The Caodong Lineage
236
The Linji Lineage
237
Glossary
239
Bibliography
251
Index
277
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About the author (2010)

Morten Schlutter is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Iowa.

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