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 Did Dogen Go to China? -- excellent book on Dogen, sound scholarship

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PostSubject: Did Dogen Go to China? -- excellent book on Dogen, sound scholarship   Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:09 pm

DID DOGEN GO TO CHINA?: What He Wrote and When He Wrote It by Steven Heine

Dogen (1200-1253), the founder of the Soto Zen sect in Japan, is especially known for introducing to Japanese Buddhism many of the texts and practices that he discovered in China. Heine reconstructs the context of Dogen's travels to and reflections on China by means of a critical look at traditional sources both by and about Dogen in light of recent Japanese scholarship. While many studies emphasize the unique features of Dogen's Japanese influences, this book calls attention to the way Chinese and Japanese elements were fused in Dogen's religious vision. It reveals many new materials and insights into Dogen's main writings, including the multiple editions of the Shobogenzo, and how and when this seminal text was created by Dogen and was edited and interpreted by his disciples. This book is the culmination of the author's thirty years of research on Dogen and provides the reader with a comprehensive approach to the master's life works and an understanding of the overall career trajectory of one of the most important figures in the history of Buddhism and Asian religious thought.

"Did Dogen go to China? is a well-written piece of sound scholarship that fills a glaring lacuna in Dogen studies. Heine builds on his deep expertise of Dogen's life and work as well as of koan literature to tackle central issues in the hagiographical accounts of Dogen's life. He displays a solid knowledge of all relevant sources and rethinks Dogen's life in the context of the latest research. This volume constitutes an invaluable contribution to Dogen scholarship."--Gereon Kopf, author of Beyond Personal Identity: Dogen, Nishida and a Phenomenology of No-Self

"An indispensable vademecum to the work of the Soto Zen master. ...A short review cannot do justice to Heine's intricate argument, which will keep the specialists busy for years to come. Suffice it to say that he brings us face to face with the flesh-and-blood Dogen and his multifarious creative activities, and thus provides an anchorage and a perspective for which puzzled readers of the Shobogenzo will be profoundly grateful."--Monumenta Nipponica
"[Heine's] expert analysis is a touchstone of historical and textual research, and required reading for all serious students of Zen."--Religious Studies Review

"Because the majority of scholarly publications on Dogen are plagued by ahistorical methodologies, this book is a breath of fresh air. Thoroughly grounded in historical and textual-critical methodologies, Heine provides a comprehensive, detailed analysis of teh diversity of Dogen's writings. ...Heine's book should be read by any scholar seeking a more historically grounded understanding of Japanese Buddhism. ...Highly recommended." --Choice

Steven Heine is Professor and Director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Florida International University. He specializes in the history of thought of Zen Buddhism and its transition from China to Japan, especially the life and works of Zen Master Dogen. He has published twenty books and numerous articles on East Asian religion and society. Dr. Heine was recently awarded the Kauffman Professorship in Entrepreneurship Studies at the Florida International University Business School.
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