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Patriarchs on Paper : A Critical History of Medieval Chan Literature (Paperback) (Alan Cole)

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Chan Buddhism—better known as “Zen”—produced an enormous amount of literature, and yet many Chan advocates, medieval and modern, insist that Chan and its truths can’t be found in language or literature. Patriarchs on Paper explores this paradox by considering several genres of Chan literature that appeared during the Tang and Song dynasties (c. 600–1300), including genealogies, biographies, dialogues, poems, monastic handbooks, and koans. Looking carefully at this body of literature, Alan Cole shows how Chan authors gradually constructed, in ever more artful portrayals, images of the perfectly simple masters of the past, best known for their freedom from literature and cultural norms. Patriarchs on Paper explores how this kind of “fantasy Buddhism” interacted with its more traditional Chinese forms, and in doing so sheds new light on how Chan’s illustrious ancestors were created, in literature, in order to satisfy a wide range of agendas.
Number of Pages: 320
Genre: Religion + Beliefs, History
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of California Pr
Author: Alan Cole
Language: English
Street Date: November 1, 2016
TCIN: 51973425
UPC: 9780520284074
Item Number (DPCI): 248-38-0701
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