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2.6 西方学术界对禅宗“东山法脉”的研究 (A Review of Anglophone Scholarship
on the Chan East Mountain Lineage) (2014)


本文旨在介绍并评析有关禅宗及“东山法脉” 研究的英文学术论著。首先概述近来禅宗研究的趋势;然后,重点评述David Chappell, John Jorgensen与John McRae对于流行的所谓禅宗法脉及东山法脉疑问及研究,以及相关研究议题的异同之处;之后再以英语学界近来对中国佛教“lineage”(世系、师承、法脉、宗派) 观念的研究为背景,对于东山法脉的特色与历史定位略作议论。


Reference:  Gildow, Douglas. 2014.  “Xifang xueshujie dui chanzong ‘dongshan famai’ de yanjiu西方学术界对禅宗‘东山法脉’的研究” (A review of Anglophone scholarship on the Chan East Mountain Lineage). Foxue Yanjiu 佛學研究 (Buddhist Studies) 22, 350-58.

Related Links:

  1. Download the full article.
  2. Online news report on the conference session in which an earlier version of this paper was presented (in December 2012).

Additional Comments

I presented the paper that evolved into this article on 15 December 2012 at a conference organized by the late Ven. Jinghui (1933-2013). The conference was held in Huangmei, Hubei Province, near the monasteries in which Jinghui served as abbot (Sizu Monastery and Laozu Monastery—he had also been authorized to take over the nearby Wuzu Monastery after the former abbot had been driven out through the combined efforts of the Buddhist association and religious affairs bureau, but Jinghui had not yet assumed control there). For a statue that is purportedly the mummy of the Fifth Chan Patriarch, for whom the Wuzu Monastery is named, see image 5.1.45.

The conference was an interesting forum in which to see figures of national, provincial, and local importance for Buddhism, including not only Buddhist leaders but also scholars of Buddhism and government officials who regulate religion. I believe the most prominent official present, among those working at the national level, was Zhang Xunmou 张训谋, director of the Research Office of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA).

This turned out to be Jinghui’s last conference in the series on Chan in Huangmei he had been sponsoring, as he passed away, unexpectedly, within a few months, on 20 April 2013.  Thanks to the kind assistance of Prof. Zhou Qi, during the conference I was fortunate to arrange to have an extended interview with Jinghui, in his hotel suite.

In the article, as my doctoral advisor Stephen F. Teiser has discussed with me, one issue I don’t cover fully is the reason why so much of English-language scholarship is on Chan/Zen Buddhism in the first place. I mention the special appeal Chan has for many Westerners, the presence of advocates for Zen in the West, and the momentum that earlier scholarship and PhD advisors set up for subsequent research on Chan.

But it doesn’t take a Marxist to realize that provision of research funding by religious organizations could also play a significant role. For example: the population of Vietnam is almost as large as Japan’s, yet the amount of research on Vietnamese Buddhism is at least one order of magnitude less than that on Japan. The ability (both economically and politically) and willingness of Japanese Buddhist organizations to fund research and translations (domestic and foreign)—of works of their choosing or in projects subject to their vetting—certainly also plays a role. In a similar vein, such dynamics must also play a role in the amount of research published on Chan/Zen Buddhism. As in any field, to an extent that could only be determined by careful, quantitative research in each specific case, the hottest topics to study are often those in which funding is most forthcoming.

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