Dogen and the Koan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shobogenzo Texts

Dogen and the Koan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shobogenzo Texts

by Steven Heine



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Dogen and the Koan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shobogenzo Texts by Steven Heine

This book has three major goals in critically examining the historical and philosophical relation between the writings of Dogen and the Zen koan tradition. First, it introduces and evaluates recent Japanese scholarship concerning Dogen's two Shobogenzo texts, the Japanese (Kana) collection of ninety-two fascicles on Buddhist topics and the Chinese (Mana) collection of three hundred koan cases also known as the Shobogenzo Sanbyakusoku. Second, it develops a new methodology for clarifying the development of the koan tradition and the relation between intellectual history and multifarious interpretations of koan cases based on postmodern literary criticism. Third, the book's emphasis on a literary critical methodology challenges the conventional reading of koans stressing the role of psychological impasse culminating in silence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791417737
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 11/28/1993
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy and Psychotherapy Series
Pages: 329
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Steven Heine is professor of religious studies and history and director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Florida International University. Heine's research specializes in the life and thought of Zen master Dogen (1200-1253), the founder of the Soto sect in Japan, and he has published twenty books and dozens of articles on Japanese culture. His publications include Did Dogen Go to China? (Oxford, 2006), The Zen Poetry of Dogen (Tuttle, 1997), Dogen and the Koan Tradition (SUNY, 1993), Shifting Shape, Shaping Text (Hawaii, 2000), and White Collar Zen (Oxford, 2005), which has been reviewed in USA Today, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Working Knowledge, and elsewhere.

Table of Contents




Chinese and Japanese Eras


Part I. Methodological Issues

1. Text and Untext: On the Significance of Koans

Introduction to the Two Texts
Postmodernism and Zen Discourse
Satori Dialogues in Relation to Sung Zen Genres
Multiple Implications of the Term "Koan"
Significance of the Koan as a Zen Symbol
A Zen Problematic: Textuality and Untextuality

2. Mythology and Demythology: The Aporetics of Koan Studies

Two Sets of Problematical Issues
Nishitani's View of "Self-Surpassing" Zen
Five Main Aporetics of Zen Studies
The Function of Literary Criticism
The Koan as Religious Symbol
Discourse Analysis in Dogen and Koan Studies

Part II. Interpretive Studies

3. Inter and Intra Textuality: A Tale of Two Shobogenzo Texts

On Contextualizing Dogen's Texts
Conventional View of Dogen and the Koan Tradition
Rethinking the Conventional View
Contrasting Dogen and Ta-hui
The Two Shobogenzo Texts

4. Narratology and Tropology: Skin, Flesh, Bones, Marrow/Marrow, Bones, Flesh, Skin

On Resolving the Aporetics of Koan Studies
Section A. "Skin, Flesh, Bones, Marrow"
Rethinking the Conventional View
On the Formation of Zen Genres
Roots and Branches
Section B. "Marrow, Bones, Flesh, Skin"
The Elements of a Tropological Interpretation
Dogen's KS Text in Comparison with Koan-roku Texts
Conclusions: Does the Koan Have Buddha-Nature?

Appendix I. Translations of Kana Shobogenzo Fascicles
Appendix II. On the Mana Shobogenzo

Glossary of Sino-Japanese Terms, Names and Titles




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