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Eminent NunsWomen Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century China$
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Beata Grant

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832025

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832025.001.0001

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Setting the Stage

Setting the Stage

Seventeenth-Century Texts and Contexts

(p.1) Chapter One Setting the Stage
Eminent Nuns

Beata Grant

University of Hawai'i Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of nuns in Chinese history. Although Linji Chan master Dahui Zonggao’s women disciples were the first to be officially acknowledged as Dharma successors, they were not the first “eminent nuns” in the Chan tradition. The unofficial “female lineage” goes back to Zongchi, who tradition counts among the four senior disciples of Bodhidharma. Many of these earlier women were known for their impressive command, not only of Buddhist literature but also of the Confucian classics and Daoist texts. As Chan masters, several of them also left collections of discourse records which may well have been printed and circulated during their lifetimes.

Keywords:   Dahui Zonggao, women disciples, Chan tradition, Zongchi, Bodhidharma, Buddhist literature, Confucian classics, Daoist texts, Chan masters

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