Ordinary Mind as the Way: The Hongzhou School and the Growth of Chan Buddhism

Hardcover | April 27, 2007

byMario Poceski

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Under the leadership of Mazu Daoyi (709-788) and his numerous disciples, the Hongzhou School emerged as the dominant tradition of Chan (Zen) Buddhism in China during the middle part of the Tang dynasty(618-907). Mario Poceski offers a systematic examination of the Hongzhou School's momentousgrowth and rise to preeminence as the bearer of Chan orthodoxy, and analyzes its doctrines against the backdrop of the intellectual and religious milieus of Tang China. Poceski demonstrates that the Hongzhou School represented the first emergence of an empire-wide Chan tradition that had strongholdsthroughout China and replaced the various fragmented Schools of early Chan with an inclusive orthodoxy. Poceski's study is based on the earliest strata of permanent sources, rather than on the later apocryphal "encounter dialogue" stories regularly used to construe widely-accepted but historically unwarranted interpretations about the nature of Chan in the Tang dynasty. He challenges the traditionaland popularly-accepted view of the Hongzhou School as a revolutionary movement that rejected mainstream mores and teachings, charting a new path for Chan's independent growth as a unique Buddhist tradition. This view, he argues, rests on a misreading of key elements of the Hongzhou School's history. Rather than acting as an unorthodox movement, the Hongzhou School's success was actually based largely on its ability to mediate tensions between traditionalist and iconoclastic tendencies. Going beyond conventional romanticized interpretations that highlight the radical character of the HongzhouSchool, Poceski shows that there was much greater continuity between early and classical Chan-and between the Hongzhou School and the rest of Tang Buddhism-than previously thought.

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Under the leadership of Mazu Daoyi (709-788) and his numerous disciples, the Hongzhou School emerged as the dominant tradition of Chan (Zen) Buddhism in China during the middle part of the Tang dynasty(618-907). Mario Poceski offers a systematic examination of the Hongzhou School's momentousgrowth and rise to preeminence as the bearer ...

Mario Poceski is Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies and Chinese Religions at the University of Florida

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Introducing Chinese Religions
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Paperback|Aug 10 2009

$59.59 online$62.90list price(save 5%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 6.3 × 9.41 × 1.1 inPublished:April 27, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195319966

ISBN - 13:9780195319965

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and ConventionsIntroductionPart I: History1. The Life and Times of Mazu Daoyi2. Regional Spread of the Hongzhou School3. The Hongzhou School and Mid-Tang ChanPart II: Doctrine and Practice4. Doctrinal Contexts and Religious Attitudes5. Mind, Buddha, and the Way6. Path of Practice and RealizationsConclusionAppendixGlossaryBibliographyIndex