The Chan (Zen in Japanese) school of Chinese Buddhism began when, in the seventh century, a small religious community gathered around a Buddhist monk named Hongren. Over the centuries, Chan Buddhism grew from an obscure movement to an officially recognized and eventually dominant form of Buddhism in China and throughout East Asia. In this book Albert Welter presents, for the first time in a comprehensive fashion in a Western work, the story of the rise of Chan, a story which has been obscured by myths about Zen. Zen apologists in the twentieth century, Welter argues, sold the world on the story of Zen as a transcendental spiritualism untainted by political and institutional involvements. In fact, Welter shows that the opposite is true: relationships between Chan monks and political rulers were crucial to Chan's success. The book concentrates on an important but neglected period of Chan history, the 10th and 11th centuries, when monks and rulers created the so-called Chan "golden age" and the classic principles of Chan identity.
Buy Monks, Rulers, and Literati book by Albert Welter from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(244mm x 162mm x 25mm)
Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
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Author Biography - Albert Welter
Albert Welter is Professor of Asian Religions at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. He is the author of The Meaning of Myriad Good Deeds: A Study of Yung-Ming Yen-Shou and the Wan-Shan T'ung-Kuei Chi (1994).