Did Dogen Go to China? What He Wrote and When He Wrote It. By Steven Heine. ¯ Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. xviii þ 298. Hardcover $99.00. Paper $35.00. Reviewed by William Harmless, SJ Creighton University Over the last thirty years Eihei Dogen (12001253), founder of Zen's Soto school, ¯ ¯ ¯ has become, in the West, among the most renowned and most studied figures in Buddhist history. His brilliant and voluminous writings have now largely been translated into English, accompanied by a growing body of learned commentaries and penetrating historical-critical studies. The English-speaking world is just beginning to appreciate what Japanese scholars have argued for nearly a century: that Dogen ¯ is Japan's finest religious thinker, one who probed the nature of religious experience with philosophic profundity and startling poetic originality. Steven Heine, professor at Florida International University and director of its Institute for Asian Studies, has been at the forefront of Zen and of Dogen studies for ¯ over twenty years. His earlier, pathbreaking Dogen and the Koan Tradition (SUNY, ¯ ¯ 1994) exploited postmodern literary methodologies to chart Dogen's unique ¯ approach to koans--that is, as dharma-charged words that disentangle hearers
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 4, 2008
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