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Zen and Material Culture

Pamela Winfield and Steven Heine


The stereotype of Zen Buddhism as a primarily minimalistic or even immaterial meditative tradition persists in the Euro-American cultural imagination. By contrast, this volume calls attention to the vast range of “stuff” in Zen by highlighting the material abundance and iconic range of the Sōtō, Rinzai, and Ōbaku sects in Japan. Chapters on beads, bowls, buildings, staffs, statues, rags, robes, and even retail commodities in America all shed new light on overlooked items of lay and monastic practice in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Nine authors from the cognate fields of art h ... More

Keywords: Zen, Japanese Buddhism, art, architecture, tea, robes, ritual objects, nuns, fundraising

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190469290
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190469290.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Pamela Winfield, editor
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Elon University

Steven Heine, editor
Director of the Asian Studies Program, Florida International University