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

By Robert H. Sharf

"The fabrics produced by way of the interplay of the mature varieties of chinese language Buddhism and Taoism represent probably the most refined and intricate examples of the assembly of chinese language and non-Chinese idea ever written. In his paintings at the Treasure shop Treatise Robert Sharf has ultimately verified their amazing price and defended them conclusively opposed to the cost that they lack highbrow integrity. This examine will stay a uncomplicated resource of theoretical tips and sensible support for any pupil or scholar wishing to confront the multifaceted and interactive nature of China's significant philosophical and non secular traditions for a few years to come." —Timothy Barrett, university of Oriental and African experiences, collage of London
"Sharf has produced a sublime and impeccably researched learn of medieval chinese language Buddhist idea, focussed on a Buddho-Taoist textual content of substantial intrinsic curiosity. The argument is persuasive and important, and the ebook could have a profound effect at the means that Sinologists and Buddhologists process chinese language Buddhist literature." —Stephen F. Teiser, Princeton collage

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

Sample text

Seng-chao’s writings, notably his commentary to the Vimalak%rti-s^tra 6 and the four 31 32 Historical and Cosmological Background essays known collectively as the Chao lun (Treatises of Chao, T. 1858) were to exert considerable influence in the development of Chinese Buddhist thought. ”7 Later Ch’an materials state that Seng-chao was executed for some unspecified transgression, possibly at the behest of the court. 8 As he was about to be executed, he uttered the following verse: The four elements originally have no master, The five aggregates [that compose the self] are fundamentally void.

Indeed, the authenticity of the text does not appear to have been questioned until the work of T’ang Yung-t’ung in the 1930s. Intentional or not, the author styled the Treasure Store Treatise so that it could have passed in its own time as a composition of the early fifth century. There is no doubt that the attribution to Seng-chao, however it came about, would have bolstered the text’s standing in the eighth and ninth centuries. Seng-chao’s work remained popular among Buddhist exegetes well into the Sui and T’ang.

Sekiguchi, following earlier studies by Kuno Hπry∫ and Ui Hakuju, disputed the attribution of the Chüeh-kuan lun to Bodhidharma (an attribution maintained by D. T. 41 More recent studies indicate that the Chüeh-kuan lun is probably the work of a later Ox Head figure working in the last quarter of the eighth century. Nonetheless, this text, known only through Tun-huang manuscripts, remains the most important surviving doctrinal record of the teachings of the Ox Head line. This long-forgotten lineage is now recognized, thanks to the studies of Sekiguchi, Yanagida Seizan, and John McRae, to have played a central role in the early development of Ch’an.

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