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Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki, Volume IIIComparative Religion$
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Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, Richard M. Jaffe, Jeff Wilson, and Tomoe Moriya

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520269170

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520269170.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2020

Wisdom in Emptiness

Wisdom in Emptiness

(p.201) 26 Wisdom in Emptiness
Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki, Volume III
Jeff Wilson, Tomoe Moriya, Richard M. Jaffe
University of California Press

This chapter contains D. T. Suzuki's “Wisdom in Emptiness” dialogue with Thomas Merton, who sent his manuscript of The Wisdom of the Desert (published in New York by New Directions in 1960) to Suzuki. The dialogue revolves around the early Christian monastic experiences of the Desert Fathers and the mystical strains of various world religions. In particular, Suzuki and Merton exchange views on emptiness, wisdom, ignorance, and innocence. Suzuki comments on the so-called opposition between innocence and knowledge or between ignorance and the original light, along with the metaphysical concept of emptiness and the fundamental moral virtues of perfection in Mahayana Buddhism, known as the Six Paramitas. Suzuki argues that Buddhist concepts have their own features that should not be confused with Christian interpretations, particularly emptiness. Suzuki and Merton also argue over the question of “the distinction between the Godhead and God as Creator”.

Keywords:   emptiness, D. T. Suzuki, Thomas Merton, Desert Fathers, wisdom, ignorance, innocence, knowledge, Mahayana Buddhism, God

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