Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism: A Reading of the by Robert H. Sharf

By Robert H. Sharf

"The fabrics produced by means of the interplay of the mature different types of chinese language Buddhism and Taoism represent probably the most refined and intricate examples of the assembly of chinese language and non-Chinese proposal ever written. In his paintings at the Treasure shop Treatise Robert Sharf has finally tested their impressive worth and defended them conclusively opposed to the cost that they lack highbrow integrity. This learn will stay a uncomplicated resource of theoretical tips and sensible support for any student or scholar wishing to confront the multifaceted and interactive nature of China's significant philosophical and spiritual traditions for a few years to come." —Timothy Barrett, tuition of Oriental and African stories, college of London
"Sharf has produced a chic and impeccably researched examine of medieval chinese language Buddhist idea, focussed on a Buddho-Taoist textual content of substantial intrinsic curiosity. The argument is persuasive and critical, and the e-book can have a profound influence at the manner that Sinologists and Buddhologists procedure chinese language Buddhist literature." —Stephen F. Teiser, Princeton college

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Additional info for Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism: A Reading of the Treasure Store Treatise (Studies in East Asian Buddhism)

Sample text

714–792), became prominent at the court of T’ai-tsung and may have been the bridge to the lines of Ma-tsu Tao-i and Shih-t’ou Hsi-ch’ien ! 48 There is also a suspicion, again advanced by Yanagida, that Ox Head Ch’an served as the link between the main current of early Ch’an— the derided Northern lineage—and the Hung-chou school of Ma-tsu Tao-i, which supposedly gave rise to the so-called golden age of Chinese Ch’an. As mentioned above, the Chüeh-kuan lun is the single most extensive surviving document associated with Ox Head Ch’an.

As mentioned above, the Chüeh-kuan lun is the single most extensive surviving document associated with Ox Head Ch’an. The title of this short treatise is, at first glance, puzzling, particularly if kuan is taken to stand for vipa0yan#, or liberating insight into reality. However, McRae notes that the earliest known use of the term “chüeh-kuan” is found in the Ta-sheng hsüan lun ! 50 The text of the Chüeh-kuan lun—structured as a dialogue between Master Attainment (ju-li ) and his disciple Gateway (yüan-men )—is characteristic of the more apophatic tendencies in Mah∂y∂na exemplified by M∂dhyamika and San-lun rhetorical strategies.

34 Whatever lay behind the confusion, it would appear that the educated Chinese elite, not to mention the unlettered masses, remained largely ignorant of the vast linguistic and conceptual divide that separated them from the world of Indian Buddhism. Local Knowledge I have argued that it is historically and hermeneutically misleading to conceive of the sinification of Buddhism in terms of a dialogue between two discrete cultural traditions. On the one hand, “dialogue” is an inappropriate metaphor for a conversation that was, in many respects, one-sided.

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