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

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

by Steven Heine
 

Dōgen (1200-1253), the founder of the Sōtō 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 Dōgen's travels to and reflections on China by means of a critical look at traditional sources both by and about Dōgen in light

Overview

Dōgen (1200-1253), the founder of the Sōtō 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 Dōgen's travels to and reflections on China by means of a critical look at traditional sources both by and about Dōgen in light of recent Japanese scholarship. While many studies emphasize the unique features of Dōgen's Japanese influences, this book calls attention to the way Chinese and Japanese elements were fused in Dōgen's religious vision. It reveals many new materials and insights into Dogen's main writings, including the multiple editions of the Shōbōgenzō, and how and when this seminal text was created by Dōgen and was edited and interpreted by his disciples. This book is the culmination of the author's thirty years of research on Dōgen 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Did Dōgen go to China? is a well-written piece of sound scholarship that fills a glaring lacuna in Dōgen studies. Heine builds on his deep expertise of Dōgen's life and work as well as of kan literature to tackle central issues in the hagiographical accounts of Dōgen's life. He displays a solid knowledge of all relevant sources and rethinks Dōgen's life in the context of the latest research. This volume constitutes an invaluable contribution to Dōgen scholarship."—Gereon Kopf, author of Beyond Personal Identity: Dōgen, 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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195305920
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/25/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

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 Dōgen. 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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