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Monks, Rulers, and Literati – The Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Monks, Rulers, and Literati: The Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism

Albert Welter


The Chan (Zen in Japanese) school of Chinese Buddhism began when, in the 7th century, a small religious community gathered around a Buddhist monk named Hongren. Over the centuries, Chan Buddhism grew from an obscure movement to an officially recognized and eventually dominant form of Buddhism in China and throughout East Asia. This book presents the story of the rise of Chan, a story which has been obscured by myths about Zen. Zen apologists in the 20th century, the book argues, sold the world on the story of Zen as a transcendental spiritualism untainted by political and institutional involve ... More

Keywords: Chan, Zen, Chinese Buddhism, religious community, Buddhist monk, Hongren, East Asia, political rulers, golden age

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780195175219
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195175219.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Albert Welter, author
University of Winnipeg
Author Webpage