Did Dogen Go to China?: What He Wrote and When He Wrote It

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D=ogen (1200-1253), the founder of the S=ot=o Zen sect in Japan, is especially known for introducing to Japanese Buddhism many of the texts and practices that he discovered in China. Heine reconstructs the context of D=ogen's travels to and reflections on China by means of a critical look at traditional sources both by and about D=ogen in light of recent Japanese scholarship. While many studies emphasize the unique features of D=ogen's Japanese influences, this book calls attention to the way Chinese and Japanese elements were fused in D=ogen's religious vision. It reveals many new materials and insights into Dogen's main writings, including the multiple editions of the Sh=ob=ogenz=o, and how and when this seminal text was created by D=ogen and was edited and interpreted by his disciples. This book is the culmination of the author's thirty years of research on D=ogen and provides the reader with a comprehensive approach to the master's life works and an understanding of the overall career trajectory of one of the most important figures in the history of Buddhism and Asian religious thought.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Did D=ogen go to China? is a well-written piece of sound scholarship that fills a glaring lacuna in D=ogen studies. Heine builds on his deep expertise of D=ogen's life and work as well as of k=oan literature to tackle central issues in the hagiographical accounts of D=ogen's life. He displays a solid knowledge of all relevant sources and rethinks D=ogen's life in the context of the latest research. This volume constitutes an invaluable contribution to D=ogen scholarship."—Gereon Kopf, author of Beyond Personal Identity: D=ogen, Nishida and a Phenomenology of No-Self

"An indispensable vademecum to the work of the Soto Zen master. ...A short review cannot do justice to Heine's intricate argument, which will keep the specialists busy for years to come. Suffice it to say that he brings us face to face with the flesh-and-blood Dogen and his multifarious creative activities, and thus provides an anchorage and a perspective for which puzzled readers of the Shobogenzo will be profoundly grateful."—Monumenta Nipponica

"[Heine's] expert analysis is a touchstone of historical and textual research, and required reading for all serious students of Zen."—Religious Studies Review

"Because the majority of scholarly publications on Dogen are plagued by ahistorical methodologies, this book is a breath of fresh air. Thoroughly grounded in historical and textual-critical methodologies, Heine provides a comprehensive, detailed analysis of teh diversity of Dogen's writings. ...Heine's book should be read by any scholar seeking a more historically grounded understanding of Japanese Buddhism. ...Highly recommended." —Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195305708
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2006
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Heine

Steven Heine is Professor and Director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Florida International University. He specializes in the history of thought of Zen Buddhism and its transition from China to Japan, especially the life and works of Zen Master D=ogen. He has published twenty books and numerous articles on East Asian religion and society. Dr. Heine was recently awarded the Kauffman Professorship in Entrepreneurship Studies at the Florida International University Business School.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Historical and methodological issues
1 "A Dharma-transmitter who traveled to Sung China" 5
2 Gone Fishin' : sources and re-sources 51
Pt. II Theory of periodization
3 The early period : Dogen went to China 91
4 The middle period, part I : the Kyoto cycle 133
5 The middle period, part II : the Echizen cycle 155
6 The late period : outpost administrator of brilliant innovator? 189
App. I Timeline of Kamakura religious figures 231
App. II Chronology of Buddhism of China and Japan 233
App. III Dogen chronology 235
App. IV Five factions of Soto Zen 237
App. V Shobogenzo editions 241
App. VI Comparison of 75- and 60-fascicle texts 247
App. VII Dogen's citations of Ju-ching 249
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