Book Announcement: FROM CHINESE CHAN TO JAPANESE ZEN: A Remarkable Century of Transmission and Transformation

FROM CHINESE CHAN TO JAPANESE ZEN: A Remarkable Century of Transmission and Transformation, Steven Heine
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2017),

304 Pages | 27 illus., ISBN: 9780190637507

  •      Examines the transformation of Chan Buddhism into Zen Buddhism from 1225 to 1325
  •      Synthesizes materials and perspectives from across national and sectarian divisions
  •      Written especially for students or specialists looking for a refresher

Table of Contents


Part One. Transnational Studies of Maritime Transfers
1. Traditions: Shifts in East Asian Society Affecting the Formation and Reception of Zen
2. Transitions: Social Influences on Zen’s Legend of Living Buddhas

Part Two. Troubling At First, Then Turning Into the Establishment
3. Transmissions: When Dogen Attained Enlightenment in China in 1225
4. Transplantations: How Émigré Monks Overcame Mid-Century Challenges
5. Transformations: Why Daito Did Not Go to China, Yet Won a Debate in 1325

Part Three. Techniques for Attaining and Maintaining Enlightenment
6. Teachers: Testing the Authenticity and Authority of Zen Masters
7. Temples: Training Disciples While Mitigating Transgressions
8. Tones: Triggering Spirituality Through Literary and Fine Arts

Glossary of Names, Titles, and Terms
Recommended Readings

“This book is a scholarly expedition that follows Zen Buddhism from China to Japan, and through all points in between. Through his erudition, his familiarity with Zen and East Asian Buddhism, and his comprehensive knowledge of related literature, Steven Heine succeeds in evoking the vibration of Zen Buddhism in his readers while enriching and renewing their understanding of the tradition.”–Jin Y. Park, author of Women and Buddhist Philosophy

From Chinese Chan to Japanese Zen showcases Steven Heine’s mastery of an array of primary and secondary sources, as well as his outstanding ability to communicate clearly to both scholarly and general audiences. It will be readily appreciated by scholars working in fields such as East Asian Buddhism and Japanese history, as well as by general readers interested in learning about the rich history of Zen.” –Mario Poceski, Professor of Buddhist Studies and Chinese Religions, University of Florida

“This is a book that has needed to be written, and we are fortunate that it was Steven Heine who chose to write it. Drawing on his impressive expertise, Heine skillfully illuminates how the Chan school was transplanted into Japan and became the Zen sect. Readers will appreciate his close attention to the cultural and socio-political dimensions of that transmission.”–Christopher Ives, author of Imperial-Way Zen

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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