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Seeing through Zen – Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism - California Scholarship Online
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Seeing through Zen: Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism

John McRae


The tradition of Chan Buddhism—more popularly known as Zen—has been romanticized throughout its history. This book shows how modern critical techniques, supported by recent manuscript discoveries, make possible a more skeptical, accurate, and—ultimately—productive assessment of Chan lineages, teaching, fundraising practices, and social organization. Synthesizing twenty years of scholarship, it offers analytic models for the interpretation of Chan spiritual practices and religious history. The book traces the emergence of this Chinese spiritual tradition and its early figureheads, Bodhidharma a ... More

Keywords: Chan Buddhism, Chinese spiritual tradition, figureheads, Bodhidharma, Hui-Neng, koans, Zen

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780520237971
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520237971.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John McRae, author