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The Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature (review)

The Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings... sublationsisthesublationoftheselfitself,leadingtoactionandawayoflifethatis so-of-itself(ziran),for,asitturnsout,"theselfitselfisof-itself"[Selbst das Selbst is von-selbst](p.255). NotonlyisGünterWohlfart'sDie Kunst des Lebens und andere Künstesharp andpowerfulinitsexpression;italsooffersusaparticularlytimelyandchallenging meditationwhilefacingthedebrisofaworldtornasunderthroughtheneoliberal glorificationoftheego.TranslationsofthisfineworkintoEnglishandotherl nguages, a howeverdifficultduetoitssubtlestyle,wouldbemostdesirable.Suchtranslations, or,indeed,successiveGermaneditions,wouldfurtherprofitfromtheinclusionof Chinese characters in its many references to Chinese expressions from the philosophicalclassics.Theiromissionis,onoccasion,somewhatofanobstacletodelving further into the fascinating sources employed by Wohlfart in this appealing and hghlyrecommendablework. i Notes 1­Camuswrotethat"theageofphilosophersconcernedwithphilosophywasfollowedby theageofprofessorsofphilosophyconcernedwithphilosophers"(Carnets 1942­1951, trans.PhilipThody[London:HamishHamilton,1966],p.44). 2­Analects2.4. 3­JohnStuartMill,Utilitarianism,esp.chap.3,"OftheUltimateSanctionsofthePrinciple ofUtility." The Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature.ByAlbertWelter.OxfordandNewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,2008.Pp.xiii+236.Hardcover$65.00. ReviewedbyMario Poceski UniversityofFlorida LinjiYixuan(d.866),alsoknownasRinzaiinJapan,isoneofthebestknownhistoricalfiguresassociatedwiththeChanandZentraditionsofEastAsian Buddhism.Heiswidelyregardedasaparadigmaticexemplarofthenoveltypeof iconoclasticChanethos nventedbyaclusterofdynamicandcharismaticChan --i masters hatsupposedlyburstontotheChinesereligioussceneduringtheglorious --t heydayoftheTangdynasty(618­907).Linji'sposthumousfameislargelybasedon the success of later generations of prominent disciples in transforming the Linji School , which traced its spiritual ancestry back to him, into the dominant ChanfactionandmainrepresentativeofChanorthodoxy,notonlyinChinabutalso throughouttherestofEastAsia.Muchofthepopularloreandiconoclasticimagery associatedwithLinji,alongwiththecommonknowledgeabouthislifeandteachings, are based on the Linji yulu (Record of the sayings of Linji), a text composedduringtheSongera(960­1279).Eversinceitsinitialcompilationinthe earlyeleventhcentury,Linji'sRecordhasenjoyedgreatpopularityandreveredstatus PhilosophyEast&WestVolume61,Number2April2011395­399 ©2011byUniversityofHawai`iPress asanessentialrepositoryoftimelessChanwisdom,towhichthenumerousmodern translationstestify,includingseveraldifferentversionsinbothEnglishandJapanese. WhiletheLinji yuluisconventionallyregardedasarecordofthelifeandteachingsofLinji,inhisimportantnewbookThe Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature, Albert Welter presentsuswithafundamentallydifferentwayoflookingatthetext'sprovenance andfunction.HearguesthatitisbesttoviewLinji'srecordofsayingsasproduct of a protracted process of religiously inspired and ideologically inflected mythmaking.Atitscore,thisprocessinvolvedtheretroactiverefashioningofLinji'simage as a prominent patriarchal figure, which was undertaken by the Linji School (or action)inthecourseofitsrisetounparalleledpreeminenceandpowerinthesociof religious world of Song China. Welter succeeds in compellingly telling the interwovenstoriesofthecreationofahagiographicalnarrativeaboutanillustriousmonk fromtheTangeraandtheformationofaChanmovementthat,toalargeextent,establisheditsclaimstolegitimacybytracingitsspiritualancestrybacktothatsame monk. The book is primarily concerned with http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

The Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature (review)

Philosophy East and West , Volume 61 (2) – Apr 27, 2011

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Abstract

sublationsisthesublationoftheselfitself,leadingtoactionandawayoflifethatis so-of-itself(ziran),for,asitturnsout,"theselfitselfisof-itself"[Selbst das Selbst is von-selbst](p.255). NotonlyisGünterWohlfart'sDie Kunst des Lebens und andere Künstesharp andpowerfulinitsexpression;italsooffersusaparticularlytimelyandchallenging meditationwhilefacingthedebrisofaworldtornasunderthroughtheneoliberal glorificationoftheego.TranslationsofthisfineworkintoEnglishandotherl nguages, a howeverdifficultduetoitssubtlestyle,wouldbemostdesirable.Suchtranslations, or,indeed,successiveGermaneditions,wouldfurtherprofitfromtheinclusionof Chinese characters in its many references to Chinese expressions from the philosophicalclassics.Theiromissionis,onoccasion,somewhatofanobstacletodelving further into the fascinating sources employed by Wohlfart in this appealing and hghlyrecommendablework. i Notes 1­Camuswrotethat"theageofphilosophersconcernedwithphilosophywasfollowedby theageofprofessorsofphilosophyconcernedwithphilosophers"(Carnets 1942­1951, trans.PhilipThody[London:HamishHamilton,1966],p.44). 2­Analects2.4. 3­JohnStuartMill,Utilitarianism,esp.chap.3,"OftheUltimateSanctionsofthePrinciple ofUtility." The Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature.ByAlbertWelter.OxfordandNewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,2008.Pp.xiii+236.Hardcover$65.00. ReviewedbyMario Poceski UniversityofFlorida LinjiYixuan(d.866),alsoknownasRinzaiinJapan,isoneofthebestknownhistoricalfiguresassociatedwiththeChanandZentraditionsofEastAsian Buddhism.Heiswidelyregardedasaparadigmaticexemplarofthenoveltypeof iconoclasticChanethos nventedbyaclusterofdynamicandcharismaticChan --i masters hatsupposedlyburstontotheChinesereligioussceneduringtheglorious --t heydayoftheTangdynasty(618­907).Linji'sposthumousfameislargelybasedon the success of later generations of prominent disciples in transforming the Linji School , which traced its spiritual ancestry back to him, into the dominant ChanfactionandmainrepresentativeofChanorthodoxy,notonlyinChinabutalso throughouttherestofEastAsia.Muchofthepopularloreandiconoclasticimagery associatedwithLinji,alongwiththecommonknowledgeabouthislifeandteachings, are based on the Linji yulu (Record of the sayings of Linji), a text composedduringtheSongera(960­1279).Eversinceitsinitialcompilationinthe earlyeleventhcentury,Linji'sRecordhasenjoyedgreatpopularityandreveredstatus PhilosophyEast&WestVolume61,Number2April2011395­399 ©2011byUniversityofHawai`iPress asanessentialrepositoryoftimelessChanwisdom,towhichthenumerousmodern translationstestify,includingseveraldifferentversionsinbothEnglishandJapanese. WhiletheLinji yuluisconventionallyregardedasarecordofthelifeandteachingsofLinji,inhisimportantnewbookThe Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature, Albert Welter presentsuswithafundamentallydifferentwayoflookingatthetext'sprovenance andfunction.HearguesthatitisbesttoviewLinji'srecordofsayingsasproduct of a protracted process of religiously inspired and ideologically inflected mythmaking.Atitscore,thisprocessinvolvedtheretroactiverefashioningofLinji'simage as a prominent patriarchal figure, which was undertaken by the Linji School (or action)inthecourseofitsrisetounparalleledpreeminenceandpowerinthesociof religious world of Song China. Welter succeeds in compellingly telling the interwovenstoriesofthecreationofahagiographicalnarrativeaboutanillustriousmonk fromtheTangeraandtheformationofaChanmovementthat,toalargeextent,establisheditsclaimstolegitimacybytracingitsspiritualancestrybacktothatsame monk. The book is primarily concerned with

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Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Apr 27, 2011

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