This course is designed to introduce students to the history, teachings, and practice of Zen Buddhism in China, Japan, Korea and the United States. The course will discuss Zen from a variety of perspectives but will center around the question of the meaning of history. Zen is a tradition of Buddhism that claims to have inherited and to pass on, in an unbroken historical transmission from patriarch to patriarch, the living experience of the Buddha's enlightenment. The course will discuss how Zen's conception of its history is related to its identity as a special tradition within Buddhism, as well as its basic teachings on the primacy of enlightenment, the role of practice, the nature of the mind, and the limitations of language.
East Asian Studies