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Long Strange JourneyOn Modern Zen, Zen Art, and Other Predicaments$
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Gregory P. A. Levine

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858056

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858056.001.0001

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Making Zen Modern

Making Zen Modern

D. T. Suzuki

(p.42) 2 Making Zen Modern
Long Strange Journey

Gregory P. A. Levine

University of Hawai'i Press

Focused on D. T. Suzuki, this chapter considers the efforts of Japanese Zen monastics and lay Buddhists to reform and modernize Zen—to bring it out of the meditation hall—through emphasis on lay and global outreach, framed within Japanese exceptionalism and articulated through hybridization with Western theology and philosophy and premised in an argument for Zen’s universality. It turns then to critics of Suzuki’s presentations as well as the proliferation of Zen advocates in the West, including R. H. Blyth and Alan Watts, whose adaptations of Zen were not entirely consonant with the Zen promoted by Suzuki and other Japanese authorities.

Keywords:   Alan Watts, D. T. Suzuki, Hisamatsu Shin’ichi, hybridity, meditation hall, modernization, R. H. Blyth, universality

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