The Golden Age of Zen: The Classic Work on the Foundation of Zen Philosophy

Overview

John C. H. Wu's classic work has long been the primary source for understanding the development of this hugely influential branch of Buddhism by students and teachers alike, and now, for the first time, it is available from an American publisher. The Golden Age of Zen explores the important period of religious history that followed the meeting of Buddhism with Chinese philosophies, most particularly Taoism. Wu looks first at the basic foundations of the school of Zen laid down in the sixth century by Bodhidharma ...
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Overview

John C. H. Wu's classic work has long been the primary source for understanding the development of this hugely influential branch of Buddhism by students and teachers alike, and now, for the first time, it is available from an American publisher. The Golden Age of Zen explores the important period of religious history that followed the meeting of Buddhism with Chinese philosophies, most particularly Taoism. Wu looks first at the basic foundations of the school of Zen laid down in the sixth century by Bodhidharma and in the seventh century by Hui-neng, and then examines the magnificent flowering of the whole movement in the hands of successive generations of Chinese sages.

Wu's book has long been a primary source for understanding the development of the hugely influential philosophy of Zen Buddhism by students and teachers alike. The Golden Age of Zen explores the philosophy's history, from its early connections with Taoism to the magnificent flowering forth of the whole movement in the hands of succeeding generations of Chinese sages.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is the the first U.S. edition of this 1967 work, a significant study of the Zen masters of T'ang dynasty China, by Wu, a respected scholar and jurist. Many of the often-difficult-to-understand stories related here will be familiar to students of Zen, but Wu offers his own interesting interpretations of them. His thorough knowledge of Chinese religious traditions such as Confucianism and Taoism allows him to place Zen-C'han in China-in a cultural and intellectual context that helps bring alive the human character of the masters. The interweaving of Taoism and Buddhism that shaped C'han is treated particularly well. Wu counted among his friends Thomas Merton, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and D.T. Suzuki, and each of them appears in the discussions in one way or another. Merton's introduction is a valuable discussion of Zen and Christianity, Holmes's wisdom has a startling freshness in this context, and the influence of Suzuki's scholarly approach to Zen is pervasive. Recommended for any collection with an interest in Zen or comparative religion.-Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll. Lib., N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385479936
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/1/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.21 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction: A Christian Looks at Zen 1
Ch. I Zen: Its Origin and Its Significance 23
Ch. II Bodbidharma, the "Wall-Gazing Brahman," and His Immediate Successors 34
Ch. III Hui-neng the Sixth Patriarch 43
Ch. IV Hui-neng's Fundamental Insights 57
Ch. V Ma-tsu Tao-i 69
Ch. VI Pai-chang and Huang-po 82
Ch. VII Ts'ung-shen of Chao-chou (778-897?) 95
Ch. VIII Outstanding Masters in the Lineage of Shih-t'ou: Tao-wu, Lung-t'an, Te-shan, Yen-t'ou, and Hsueh-feng 111
Ch. IX Kuei-shan Ling-yu: Founder of the Kuei-yang House 120
Ch. X Tung-shan Liang-chieh: Founder of the Ts'ao-tung House 129
Ch. XI Lin-chi I-hsuan: Founder of the Lin-chi House 143
Ch. XII Yun-men Wen-yen: Founder of the Yun-men House 159
Ch. XIII Fa-yen Wen-i: Founder of the Fa-yen House 172
Ch. XIV Epilogue: Little Sparks of Zen 184
Appendix: My Reminiscences of Dr. Daisetz T. Suzuki 216
Index 223
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