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University of Hong Kong

1. 談穎嫻; Tan, Yingxian. Clarifying "Chinese syncretic Chan" and "Japanese pure Zen" in light of Tsung-mi's thought.

Degree: Master of Buddhist Studies, 2016, University of Hong Kong

This essay aims to clarify two hotly debated notions of Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen. I chiefly discuss the implications of two terms — "syncretic" and "pure" and explain why they should be taken as a particular method of exposition rather than the substance per se. I shall then elucidate why Tsung-mi’s works can be taken as the primary and valid source for a research on both of them. Tsung-mi's ideas center on the correspondence between Chan and Canonical Buddhism (Jing Jiao 經教). This correspondence induces both the diversity of and restrictions on the interpretations of Chan/Zen. Accordingly, I propose threefold negations primarily regarding the misunderstandings of the Chan source(禪源), Chan teaching(禪教) and Chan lineage (禪系), which may serve to present a right view of these issues. I then take Chan-Pureland synthesis as an exemplar of Chan-Jiao correspondence. In particular, I discuss why "Nianfo Chan" effectively leads to the development of "Samādhi" and "Prajñā" and thus deserves its reputation as a classical Chan theory and practice. Then I discuss three groups of the commonly held opinions on Japanese Pure Zen: Is it spiritual freedom or antinomianism, universalism or nationalism, direct action or a mysterious experience? These manifold problematic Zen hermeneutics in turn attest to Tsung-mi's assertion that the Chan/Zen exposition conforms with the valid source of knowledge that has been crystallized into canonical texts, lest it leads to either "ignorant Samādhi" or "mad Prajñā". I conclude that "Syncretic Chan" should be identified with typical Buddhist teaching whereas "Pure Zen" is to a large extent a late form of Japanese culture. This is inferred not from the hermeneutical notions of either "syncretic" or "pure" but from what Chan/Zen is all about in a fundamental sense.

published_or_final_version

Buddhist Studies

Master

Master of Buddhist Studies

Subjects/Keywords: Zen Buddhsim - Japan; Zen Buddhism - China

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

談穎嫻; Tan, Y. (2016). Clarifying "Chinese syncretic Chan" and "Japanese pure Zen" in light of Tsung-mi's thought. (Masters Thesis). University of Hong Kong. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10722/237231

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

談穎嫻; Tan, Yingxian. “Clarifying "Chinese syncretic Chan" and "Japanese pure Zen" in light of Tsung-mi's thought.” 2016. Masters Thesis, University of Hong Kong. Accessed March 29, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10722/237231.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

談穎嫻; Tan, Yingxian. “Clarifying "Chinese syncretic Chan" and "Japanese pure Zen" in light of Tsung-mi's thought.” 2016. Web. 29 Mar 2020.

Vancouver:

談穎嫻; Tan Y. Clarifying "Chinese syncretic Chan" and "Japanese pure Zen" in light of Tsung-mi's thought. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. University of Hong Kong; 2016. [cited 2020 Mar 29]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10722/237231.

Council of Science Editors:

談穎嫻; Tan Y. Clarifying "Chinese syncretic Chan" and "Japanese pure Zen" in light of Tsung-mi's thought. [Masters Thesis]. University of Hong Kong; 2016. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10722/237231

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