The Koan : Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism
Koans are enigmatic spiritual formulas used for religious training in the Zen Buddhist tradition. This innovative religious practice is one of the most distinctive elements of this tradition, which originated in medieval China and spread to Japan and Korea. Perhaps no dimension of Asian religous has attracted so much interest in the West, and its influence is apparent from beat poetry to deconstructive literary critisism. The essays collected in this volume, all previously unpublished, argue that our understanding of the koan tradition has been severely limited. The authors try to undermine stereotypes and problematic interpretations by examining previously unrecognized factors in the formation of the tradition, and by highlighting the rich complexity and remarkable diversity of koan practice and literature.
- Hardback | 334 pages
- 154.94 x 231.14 x 27.94mm | 635.03g
- 11 Mar 2002
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
This book includes essays that cover everything you need to know about koans, and explore the controversies surrounding them ... the book is valuable not only for those interested in koans and Zen but also for people who want to know how a tradition constitutes itself, how it grows, and how it has described itself over time. * Dharma Life * Anyone obliged to teach the history of Zen Buddhism will welcome this book ... The editors are to be congratulated on bringing such a wealth of fresh research into the public domain. * Buddhist Studies Review *