Visions of Power: Imagining Medieval Japanese Buddhism

Visions of Power: Imagining Medieval Japanese Buddhism

by Bernard Faure
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691029415

ISBN-13: 9780691029412

Pub. Date: 05/15/2000

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Bernard Faure's previous works are well known as guides to some of the more elusive aspects of the Chinese tradition of Chan Buddhism and its outgrowth, Japanese Zen. Continuing his efforts to look at Chan/Zen with a full array of postmodernist critical techniques, Faure now probes the imaginaire, or mental universe, of the Buddhist Soto Zen master Keizan

Overview

Bernard Faure's previous works are well known as guides to some of the more elusive aspects of the Chinese tradition of Chan Buddhism and its outgrowth, Japanese Zen. Continuing his efforts to look at Chan/Zen with a full array of postmodernist critical techniques, Faure now probes the imaginaire, or mental universe, of the Buddhist Soto Zen master Keizan Jokin (1268-1325). Although Faure's new book may be read at one level as an intellectual biography, Keizan is portrayed here less as an original thinker than as a representative of his culture and an example of the paradoxes of the Soto school. The Chan/Zen doctrine that he avowed was allegedly reasonable and demythologizing, but he lived in a psychological world that was just as imbued with the marvelous as was that of his contemporary Dante Alighieri.

Drawing on his own dreams to demonstrate that he possessed the magical authority that he felt to reside also in icons and relics, Keizan strove to use these "visions of power" to buttress his influence as a patriarch. To reveal the historical, institutional, ritual, and visionary elements in Keizan's life and thought and to compare these to Soto doctrine, Faure draws on largely neglected texts, particularly the Record of Tokoku (a chronicle that begins with Keizan's account of the origins of the first of the monasteries that he established) and the kirigami, or secret initiation documents.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691029412
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/15/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.23(h) x 0.89(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction3
Ch. 1Autobiographical Imagination30
Ch. 2Imagined Lineages47
Ch. 3Imagining Powers71
Ch. 4Mythical Imaginaire83
Ch. 5Dreaming114
Ch. 6Images of Death144
Ch. 7Places of the Mind179
Ch. 8The Ritual Body198
Ch. 9The Power of Symbols224
Ch. 10Iconic Imagination237
Ch. 11Beyond Icons264
Epilogue: Imagination and Ideology275
Glossary289
Bibliography299
Index323

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