Written by prominent scholars, this text covers rituals from the early Chan period to modern Japan and key developments that occurred in the Linji/Rinzai and Caodon/Soto schools. It describes how rituals mould the lives of its practitioners in accordance with the ideal of Zen awakening.
"Throughout human history, and in many religious cultures, offerings are made into fire--known in the tantric world as homa. This collection provides detailed studies of the homa from its inception up to the present, allowing for the study of ritual change over long periods of time, and across religious cultures"--
"Given the historical orientation of philosophy, is it unreasonable to suggest a wider cast of the net into the deep waters of magic? By encountering magical thought as theory, we come to a new understanding of a thought that looks back at us from a funhouse mirror."-from The Occult Mind Divination, like many critical modes, involves reading signs, and magic, more generally, can be seen as a kind of criticism that takes the universe-seen and unseen, known and unknowable-as its text. In The Occult Mind, Christopher I. Lehrich explores the history of magic in Western thought, suggesting a bold new understanding of the claims made about the power of various belief systems. In closely interlinked essays on such disparate topics as ley lines, the Tarot, the Corpus Hermeticum, writing and ritual in magical practice, and early attempts to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, Lehrich treats magic and its parts as an intellectual object that requires interpretive zeal on the part of readers/observers. Drawing illuminating parallels between the practice of magic and more recent interpretive systems-structuralism, deconstruction, semiotics-Lehrich deftly suggests that the specter of magic haunts all such attempts to grasp the character of knowledge. Offering a radical new approach to the nature and value of occult thought, Lehrich's brilliantly conceived and executed book posits magic as a mode of theory that is intrinsically subversive of normative conceptions of reason and truth. In elucidating the deep parallels between occult thought and academic discourse, Lehrich demonstrates that sixteenth-century occult philosophy often touched on issues that have become central to philosophical discourse only in the past fifty years.
A groundbreaking study of the lost tradition of Tibetan Zen containing the first translations of key texts from one thousand years ago. Banned in Tibet, forgotten in China, the Tibetan tradition of Zen was almost completely lost to us. According to Tibetan histories, Zen teachers were invited to Tibet from China in the 8th century, at the height of the Tibetan Empire. When doctrinal disagreements developed between Indian and Chinese Buddhists at the Tibetan court, the Tibetan emperor called for a formal debate. When the debate resulted in a decisive win by the Indian side, the Zen teachers were sent back to China, and Zen was gradually forgotten in Tibet. This picture changed at the beginning of the 20th century with the discovery in Dunhuang (in Chinese Central Asia) of a sealed cave full of manuscripts in various languages dating from the first millennium CE. The Tibetan manuscripts, dating from the 9th and 10th centuries, are the earliest surviving examples of Tibetan Buddhism. Among them are around 40 manuscripts containing original Tibetan Zen teachings. This book translates the key texts of Tibetan Zen preserved in Dunhuang. The book is divided into ten sections, each containing a translation of a Zen text illuminating a different aspect of the tradition, with brief introductions discussing the roles of ritual, debate, lineage, and meditation in the early Zen tradition. Van Schaik not only presents the texts but also explains how they were embedded in actual practices by those who used them.
Extending their successful series of collections on Zen Buddhism, Heine and Wright present a fifth volume, on what may be the most important topic of all - Zen Masters. Following two volumes on Zen literature (Zen Classics and The Zen Canon) and two volumes on Zen practice (The Koan and Zen Ritual) they now propose a volume on the most significant product of the Zen tradition - the Zen masters who have made this kind of Buddhism the most renowned in the world by emphasizing the role of eminent spiritual leaders and their function in establishing centers, forging lineages, and creating literature and art. Zen masters in China, and later in Korea and Japan, were among the cultural leaders of their times. Stories about their comportment and powers circulated widely throughout East Asia. In this volume ten leading Zen scholars focus on the image of the Zen master as it has been projected over the last millennium by the classic literature of this tradition. Each chapter looks at a single prominent master. Authors assess the master's personality and charisma, his reported behavior and comportment, his relationships with teachers, rivals and disciplines, lines of transmission, primary teachings, the practices he emphasized, sayings and catch-phrases associated with him, his historical and social context, representations and icons, and enduring influences.
The past few years have shown a growing interest in cooking and food, as a result of international food issues such as BSE, world trade and mass foreign travel, and at the same time there has been growing interest in Japanese Studies since the 1970s. This volume brings together the two interests of Japan and food, examining both from a number of perspectives. The book reflects on the social and cultural side of Japanese food, and at the same time reflects also on the ways in which Japanese culture has been affected by food, a basic human institution. Providing the reader with the historical and social bases to understand how Japanese cuisine has been and is being shaped, this book assumes minimal familiarity with Japanese society, but instead explores the country through the topic of its cuisine.
Analysing both fraud and religion as social constructs with different functions and meanings attributed to them, this book raises issues that are central to debates about the limits of religious toleration in diverse societies, and the possible harm that religious organisations can inflict upon society and individuals. With a focus on minority religions, the book offers a comparative overview of the concept of religious fraud by bringing together analyses of different types of fraud or deception.
The truth of Chan Buddhism—better known as “Zen”—is regularly said to be beyond language, and yet Chan authors—medieval and modern—produced an enormous quantity of literature over the centuries. To make sense of this well-known paradox, Patriarchs on Paper explores several genres of Chan literature that appeared during the Tang and Song dynasties (c. 600–1300), including genealogies, biographies, dialogues, poems, monastic handbooks, and koans. Working through this diverse body of literature, Alan Cole details how Chan authors developed several strategies to evoke images of a perfect Buddhism in which wonderfully simple masters transmitted Buddhism’s final truth to one another, suddenly and easily, and, of course, independent of literature and the complexities of the Buddhist monastic system. Chan literature, then, reveled in staging delightful images of a Buddhism free of Buddhism, tempting the reader, over and over, with the possibility of finding behind the thick façade of real Buddhism—with all its rules, texts, doctrines, and institutional solidity—an ethereal world of pure spirit. Patriarchs on Paper charts the emergence of this kind of “fantasy Buddhism” and details how it interacted with more traditional forms of Chinese Buddhism in order to show how Chan’s illustrious ancestors were created in literature in order to further a wide range of real-world agendas.
Japan was the first Asian nation to face the full impact of modernity. Like the rest of Japanese society, Buddhist institutions, individuals, and thought were drawn into the dynamics of confronting the modern age. Japanese Buddhism had to face multiple challenges, but it also contributed to modern Japanese society in numerous ways. Buddhism and Modernity: Sources from Nineteenth-Century Japan makes accessible the voices of Japanese Buddhists during the early phase of high modernity. The volume offers original translations of key texts—many available for the first time in English—by central actors in Japan’s transition to the modern era, including the works of Inoue Enryō, Gesshō, Hara Tanzan, Shimaji Mokurai, Kiyozawa Manshi, Murakami Senshō, Tanaka Chigaku, and Shaku Sōen. All of these writers are well recognized by Buddhist studies scholars and Japanese historians but have drawn little attention elsewhere; this stands in marked contrast to the reception of Japanese Buddhism since D. T. Suzuki, the towering figure of Japanese Zen in the first half of the twentieth century. The present book fills the chronological gap between the premodern era and the twentieth century by focusing on the crucial transition period of the nineteenth century. Issues central to the interaction of Japanese Buddhism with modernity inform the five major parts of the work: sectarian reform, the nation, science and philosophy, social reform, and Japan and Asia. Throughout the chapters, the globally entangled dimension—both in relation to the West, especially the direct and indirect impact of Christianity, and to Buddhist Asia—is of great importance. The Introduction emphasizes not only how Japanese Buddhism was part of a broader, globally shared reaction of religions to the specific challenges of modernity, but also goes into great detail in laying out the specifics of the Japanese case.