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A Critical Reflection on the Chogye Order's Campaign for the Worldwide Propagation of Kanhwa Sŏn 看話禪

A Critical Reflection on the Chogye Order's Campaign for the Worldwide Propagation of Kanhwa... This article critically reflects on the Chogye Order's campaign to "illuminate the world" with Dahui Zonggao 大慧宗虚 (1089-1163)'s Keyword Meditation (KWM). According to thenarrative backing that crusade, KWM is the most effective technique to achieve awakening, and Korea's KWM tradition-because it has been transmitted without interruption since its introduction in the peninsula-is unique and homogenous. Therefore, KWM is defined as the hallmark of Korean Buddhism. It is against a backdrop of fierce national and international competition, which has given rise to an identity quest, that this narrative has taken shape. By strictly identifying itself and Korean Buddhism with both the orthodoxy and the orthopraxis of Dahui Zonggao's teachings, the Chogye Order is attempting to create a differentiation point that will allow it to compete with its national and international rivals. Although powerful, this narrative tends to ignore that KWM is the result of a long and complex historical process. It also forgets that, far from standing in the middle of the blue since its birth, KWM has remained part and parcel of a history which keeps unfolding-both within and beyond East Asia. The result of such an interpretation is an overall hermeneutical rigidity, which translates into "Hwadu 話頭 Absolutism" and a fully fledged reenacting of the "rhetoric of immediacy." Both not only render dialogue between practitioners and scholars impossible, but also compromise the possibility of adapting KWM to the contemporary world. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Religions University of Hawai'I Press

A Critical Reflection on the Chogye Order's Campaign for the Worldwide Propagation of Kanhwa Sŏn 看話禪

Journal of Korean Religions , Volume 2 (1) – Jun 6, 2012

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Institute for the Study of Religion, Sogang University, Korea
ISSN
2093-7288
eISSN
2167-2040

Abstract

This article critically reflects on the Chogye Order's campaign to "illuminate the world" with Dahui Zonggao 大慧宗虚 (1089-1163)'s Keyword Meditation (KWM). According to thenarrative backing that crusade, KWM is the most effective technique to achieve awakening, and Korea's KWM tradition-because it has been transmitted without interruption since its introduction in the peninsula-is unique and homogenous. Therefore, KWM is defined as the hallmark of Korean Buddhism. It is against a backdrop of fierce national and international competition, which has given rise to an identity quest, that this narrative has taken shape. By strictly identifying itself and Korean Buddhism with both the orthodoxy and the orthopraxis of Dahui Zonggao's teachings, the Chogye Order is attempting to create a differentiation point that will allow it to compete with its national and international rivals. Although powerful, this narrative tends to ignore that KWM is the result of a long and complex historical process. It also forgets that, far from standing in the middle of the blue since its birth, KWM has remained part and parcel of a history which keeps unfolding-both within and beyond East Asia. The result of such an interpretation is an overall hermeneutical rigidity, which translates into "Hwadu 話頭 Absolutism" and a fully fledged reenacting of the "rhetoric of immediacy." Both not only render dialogue between practitioners and scholars impossible, but also compromise the possibility of adapting KWM to the contemporary world.

Journal

Journal of Korean ReligionsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 6, 2012

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