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Book Review: "Zen Buddhist Rhetoric in China, Korea, and Japan," Edited by Christoph Anderl.
Author Yu, Jimmy
Source Religious Studies Review
Volumev.40 n.3
Publisher Url
LocationOxford, UK [牛津, 英國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article; 書評=Book Review
NoteAuthor Information
Florida State University
AbstractThis edited volume aims to redress a lacuna in Chan/Sŏn/Zen scholarship that has often overlooks the structure and function of rhetoric and linguistics. Each of the essays in this volume carefully analyzes concrete linguistic devices at specific times and occasions in the larger sociopolitical, doctrinal, and sectarian contexts. As with many edited volumes, the quality of the essays is uneven. For example, a couple of the essays appear to be rehashed from already published works to fit the aims of this volume. The volume also needs better copyediting; there are several typos and awkward passages. Nevertheless, several of the essays reveal new insights. Those worth noting are as follows: C. Harbsmeier shows that many linguistic and rhetorical features found in Chan texts can actually be traced back to avadāna literature. H. Eifring shows how Ming‐Qing literati retroactively linked famous Tang poetry, originally unaffiliated with Chan, to become “Chan poetry,” highlighting the use of rhetorical devices that supposedly create an impression of unrestrained and liberated mind. W. Bodiford historicizes how medieval Zen monks devised a specific Sino‐Japanese style of Zen expression to process the large amount of Chan nomenclature transmitted to Japan. He shows how Zen was immersed in creating and learning this language, instead of being free from it. S. Heine demonstrates how vernacular language was used as a means for Dōgen to challenge his illustrious predecessors. Yet his rhetorical “transgression” was a means of transmitting his spiritual authority and sectarian identity. C. Anderl analyzes late Tang Dunhuang manuscripts and shows how Chan's appropriation and redefinition of key Buddhist terms in unusual syntactic and semantic environments in different periods of its history led to the emergence of specific Chan genres and rhetorical devices, which catered to the educated elite. This volume is for specialists, and is a welcomed edition to Zen studies.
ISSN0319485X (P); 17480922 (E)
Created date2014.12.01
Modified date2019.12.03

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