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Paul L. SWANSON - Why They Say Zen Is Not Buddhism: Recent Japanese Critiques of Buddha-Nature - p. 3

Paul L. SWANSON - Why They Say Zen Is Not Buddhism: Recent Japanese Critiques of Buddha-Nature - p. 3

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Published by Ɓuddhisterie
Why They Say Zen Is Not Buddhism: Recent Japanese Critiques of Buddha-Nature
Why They Say Zen Is Not Buddhism: Recent Japanese Critiques of Buddha-Nature

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Published by: Ɓuddhisterie on Jul 12, 2012
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11/06/2013

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PARTONE
he What and Why of Critical Buddhism
 
 Why They Say Zen Is Not Buddhism
Recent Japanese Critiques of Buddha-Nature 
Paul L. S
 WANSON
E
 ARLYINAD
817
, Saichõ, the founder of Japanese Tendai, enteredinto a debate with Tokuitsu over the idea of Buddha-nature anduniversal enlightenment. Tokuitsu, a Hossõ monk who lived inthe Kantõ region, had written a tract called “On Buddha-Nature”(
Busshõshõ 
), to which Saichõ responded with “Vanquishing misunder-standings about the
Lotus Sutra 
(
Hokke kowaku 
). For the next four yearsthe two scholarsengaged through essays and arguments in what grew tobe one of the most important doctrinal debates in Japanese Buddhist his-tory. In short, Saichõ championed the idea of universal Buddhahood, the
ekay„na 
ideal espoused in the
Lotus Sutra 
that all beings are destined forthe highest enlightenment of a Buddha, while Tokuitsu supported the Yogacara interpretation of ³ve
 gotra 
, or ³ve different potentials latent insentient beings, including that of the
icchantika 
 who have no hope of ever attaining Buddhahood.
1
 What, one might ask, does this debate have to do with the contem-porary study of religion and our understanding of Buddhism in Japan?Just this: we are in the midst of a very provocative “rethinking” of Japanese Buddhism by some prominent Buddhist scholars and thinkers who claim that Ch’an/Zen, the
tath„gata-garbha 
(“seed,” “matrix,” or“womb” of the Buddha) tradition,
2
hongaku shisõ 
(“original” or “inher-ent” enlightenment), and related ideas are “not Buddhism.” This is tan-tamount to saying that most, if not all, of Japanese Buddhism is notBuddhist.In a sense what these scholars are saying is not all that new: the
tath„gata-garbha 
tradition and Buddha-nature ideas have always beenopen to the charge that they posit an un-Buddhist substantialist or atman-
3

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Patrick Carré added this note
Very interesting. Thank you !
Patrick Carré added this note
Non pas "pur" mais "lumineux" !!!
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