The book describes the emergence and maturity of encounter dialogue and analyzes the new doctrines and practices of the school to revise the traditional notion of Mazu and his followers as iconoclasts. It also depicts the strivings of Mazu’s disciples for orthodoxy and how the criticisms of and reflections on Hongzhou doctrine led to the schism of this line and the rise of the Shitou line and various houses during the late Tang and Five Dynasties periods. Jia refutes the traditional Chan genealogy of two lines and five houses and calls for new frameworks in the study of Chan history. An annotated translation of datable discourses of Mazu is also included.
The Mahāratnakūta Sūtra is one of the five major sutra groups in the Mahāyāna canon. Of the two great schools of Buddhism, Mahāyāna has the greatest number of adherents worldwide--it prevails among the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Tibetans, and Vietnamese--and contains within it a number of movements, notably Zen, which have been of growing interest in the West in recent decades. Yet despite this increased attention and enormous following, translations of Mahāyāna scriptures have been scarce and fragmentary; clearly, a comprehensive translation of a major work within the canon was called for.
This volume addresses that need. It contains 22 of the 49 Sūtras of the Mahāratnakūta (or "Treasury") Sūtra, many translated for the first time in a Western language, selected and arranged to give the modern reader a progressive introduction to one of the world's major religious traditions. Subjects covered include Māyā and miracles, the teachings on Consciousness, Emptiness, and monastic discipline, the Mystical Light of the Tathāgata, and the devotional practice of Pure Land, making this a comprehensive source book of Mahāyāna Buddhism hitherto unavailable in English. The book also includes an introduction to provide historical and interpretive guidance, annotations that assist in the comprehension of difficult passages, and an extensive glossary that will be valuable to specialist and layman alike. A team of scholars, working in Taiwan, spent eight years translating the Treasury's million words from Chinese, using Tibetan texts for comparison and checking each Sūtra with an international board of scholars. In the course of translating from the original, special effort was made to retain both the devotional style appropriate for religious reading and the precision required by the scholar, while presenting the material with a clarity and flow that would make it accessible to the Western layman. The editors then selected, arranged, and annotated the 22 Sūtras presented here.
Published in cooperation with The Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions.
Politics and Transcendent Wisdom: The Scripture for Humane Kings in the Creation of Chinese Buddhism
Politics and Transcendent Wisdom presents a systematic theoretical framework for understanding the relationship between politics and religion in a variety of contexts. This book examines the formation of "national protection" Buddhism in China and translates the key text of this important movement. Showing that Buddhist notions of sovereignty were meant and were taken as more than mere metaphor, Orzech examines the profound link between Buddhist notions of transcendence and the deployment of political authority in East Asia. To this integration of philosophical tradition and political history is brought a new understanding of Buddhist cosmology.
The contexts of Buddhism as state religion in fifth- and eighth-century China are examined in detail, through extended consideration of the Transcendent Wisdom Scripture for Humane Kings Who Wish to Protect Their States, the text that was the charter for Buddhist state cults in China, Korea, and Japan into the twentieth century. The text first appeared during the fifth century as Buddhists were struggling to understand how their "foreign" religion and the "foreign" rulers of north China might be adapted to Chinese religious and political culture. The Scripture for Humane Kings and the rites enjoined by it were one answer to these questions. Three centuries later, in the context of a fully sinified Buddhism, the T'ang dynasty Tantric master Pu-k'ung produced a new version of the text with new rites that served as the centerpiece of his vision of a Chinese Buddhist state modeled on esoteric lines. The final section of this volume presents for the first time a full, annotated translation of this important East Asian Buddhist text.
What if such a remarkable religious hybrid actually lived? The brief pieces collected in this book depict what he might have taught, proclaiming Buddhism from the Bible! Amazingly, it turns out not to be much of a stretch! Saint Iodasaph will have you reading familiar texts with new (third?) eyes!
These vignettes originally appeared in The Christian*New Age Quarterly. One reader asked if they were genuine channeled revelations! That's high praise.
This book provides the first English translations of the writings of Chŏngsan (1900–62), the second dharma master of Won Buddhism, who codified the new religion’s central doctrines. The translations here include Chŏngsan’s discussion of Buddha-nature, described as a mind-seal and symbolized by the Irwŏnsang (a unitary circle); his synthesis of Confucian moral and political programs with Buddhist notions of emancipation from birth and death; and his expositions on realizing the ideal of all people as one family.
The Lotus Sutra proclaims that a unitary intent underlies the diversity of Buddhist teachings and promises that all people without exception can achieve supreme awakening. Establishing the definitive guide to this profound text, specialists in Buddhist philosophy, art, and history of religion address the major ideas and controversies surrounding the Lotus Sutra and its manifestations in ritual performance, ascetic practice, visual representations, and social action across history. Essays survey the Indian context in which the sutra was produced, its compilation and translation history, and its influence across China and Japan, among many other issues. The volume also includes a Chinese and Japanese character glossary, notes on Western translations of the text, and a synoptic bibliography.
Chinese religions scholar Wendi Adamek compares the Lidai fabao ji with other sources from the fourth through eighth centuries, chronicling changes in the doctrines and practices involved in transmitting medieval Chinese Buddhist teachings. While Adamek is concerned with familiar Chan themes like patriarchal genealogies and the ideology of sudden enlightenment, she also highlights topics that make Lidai fabao ji distinctive: formless practice, the inclusion of female practitioners, the influence of Daoist metaphysics, and connections with early Tibetan Buddhism.
The Lidai fabao ji was unearthed in the early twentieth century in the Mogao caves at the Silk Road oasis of Dunhuang in northwestern China. Discovery of the Dunhuang manuscripts has been compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as these documents have radically changed our understanding of medieval China and Buddhism. A crucial volume for students and scholars, The Mystique of Transmission offers a rare glimpse of a lost world and fills an important gap in the timeline of Chinese and Buddhist history.