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Purifying ZenWatsuji Tetsuro's Shamon Dogen$
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Tetsuro Watsuji

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835101

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835101.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 July 2018

Criticism of Art

Criticism of Art

(p.82) Chapter Eight Criticism of Art
Purifying Zen

Steve Bein

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on Dōgen's criticism of art. For Dōgen, who resurrected the original demand of “one or the other” in early Buddhism, temples and statues of the Buddha were not in any way beneficial for attaining the truth. He asserts that making statues and erecting temples do not indicate the prosperity of Buddhism and do nothing at all for attaining enlightenment. It is evil to think one can gain enlightenment by revering statues and relics of the Buddha. “This will only condemn you to the land of evil demons and poisonous snakes.” According to Dōgen, the true prosperity of Buddhism consists in considering passages from the sutras and doing zazen. This chapter also considers Dōgen's disdain for the power of beauty and his insistence that people should “ignore any discussions” of literary arts, poetry, and the like.

Keywords:   art, Dōgen, Buddhism, Buddha, truth, enlightenment, sutras, zazen, beauty, literary arts

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