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How Zen Became Zen
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How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China

Morten Schlütter


This book takes a novel approach to understanding one of the most crucial developments in Zen Buddhism: the dispute over the nature of enlightenment that erupted within the Chinese Chan (Zen) school in the twelfth century. The famous Linji (Rinzai) Chan master Dahui Zonggao (1089–1163) railed against “heretical silent illumination Chan” and strongly advocated kanhua (koan) meditation as an antidote. This book shows that Dahui's target was the Caodong (Soto) Chan tradition that had been revived and reinvented in the early twelfth century, and that silent meditation was an approach to practice a ... More

Keywords: Zen Buddhism, enlightenment, Chinese Chan school, Dahui Zonggao, Caodong Chan, Linji Chan, Song dynasty

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780824832551
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832551.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Morten Schlütter, author
University of Iowa