Monday, November 3, 2008

The Zen Canon: Understanding the Classic Texts

This volume examines a rich variety of texts in various genres that are crucial to an understanding of the history and thought of the Zen (C. Chan) Buddhist tradition in East Asia. These texts form a major part of the Zen canon, the acknowledged core of Zen Buddhist sacred literature.Zen represents one of the high points in Chinese and Buddhist literary culture, producing by far the most voluminous and important canon of sacred texts in East Asia. Beginning in the late Tang dynasty and continuing for centuries in China, as well as in Kamakura through Tokugawa Japan, Zen writers have produced an unparalleled volume of texts in a wide variety of genres. These sacred texts define the tradition of Zen in such a way that understanding them is fundamental to any acquaintance with this form of Buddhism.

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