This book offers a provocative rereading of the early history of Chan Buddhism (Zen). Working from a history-of-religion point of view that asks how and why literary troupes were chosen to depict the essence of the Buddhist tradition to Chinese readers, this analysis focuses on the narrative logic of the early Chan genealogies. It argues that early Chan's image of the perfect-master-who-owns-tradition was in fact constructed for reasons that had little to do with Buddhist practice, and much more to do with politics, property, geography, and new forms of writing. With references and index.
Fathering Your Father: The Zen of Fabrication in Tang Buddhism
PublisherUniversity Of California Press