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Fathering Your Father – The Zen of Fabrication in Tang Buddhism - California Scholarship Online
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Fathering Your Father: The Zen of Fabrication in Tang Buddhism

Alan Cole


This book offers a provocative rereading of the early history of Chan Buddhism (Zen). Working from a history-of-religions point of view that asks how and why certain literary tropes were chosen to depict the essence of the Buddhist tradition to Chinese readers, this analysis focuses on the narrative logics of the early Chan genealogies—the seventh- and eighth-century lineage texts that claimed that certain high-profile Chinese men were descendants of Bodhidharma and the Buddha. This book argues that early Chan's image of the perfect-master-who-owns-tradition was constructed for reasons that ha ... More

Keywords: Chan Buddhism, Buddhist tradition, Chinese readers, narrative logics, Chan genealogies, Bodhidharma, Buddha

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780520254848
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520254848.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alan Cole, author