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Book Cover for: Xuedou's 100 Odes to Old Cases: A Translation with Commentary, Steven Heine

Xuedou's 100 Odes to Old Cases: A Translation with Commentary

Steven Heine

Xuedou's 100 Odes to Old Cases is recognized as the seminal discourse in Chan Buddhism, one that has exerted significant influence on the way stories of former teachers (guze) have been appreciated and appropriated for the past thousand years. In this volume, Steven Heine offers a much-needed translation of this pivotal work along with extensive background and commentary. Heine brings important perspective to a 1000-year old text that became the basis for the Blue Cliff Record, which continues to have a profound impact on the overall legacy of East Asian Buddhist intellectual history and religious literature.

Xuedou's verses reflect the author's unique capacity for taming through elegance the undisciplined and deluded minds of followers struggling with self-imposed obstacles to discern reality and thereby discover inner peace. Xuedou cites multiple Chan sources, uses irregular meter to disrupt the reader's expectations, and evokes unusual allusions to Chinese lore while often interjecting personal comments or lyrical imagery that goes beyond a reliance on doctrine. Xuedou's work is timeless, informative, and extremely influential. Heine offers us a glimpse into his mind and work, as we are taken back in time to the birth of the most essential aesthetic qualities of Chan and Zen Buddhist discourse.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publish Date: Jan 16th, 2024
  • Pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.90in - 6.30in - 1.20in - 0.90lb
  • EAN: 9780197676998
  • Categories: EasternBuddhism - Zen (see also Philosophy - Zen)

About the Author

Steven Heine is Professor of Religious Studies and History and founding director of the Asian Studies Program at Florida International University. He has published three dozen monographs and edited volumes on the history and thought of Zen Buddhism in East Asia, with a special emphasis on the role of poetry in expressing Zen philosophy. Heine is the recipient of Japan's Order of the Rising Sun Award in recognition of a lifetime of service to promoting Japanese culture in the west.
Praise for this book
"This is an excellent book on a topic otherwise not covered elsewhere in English language scholarship. Heine is one of-if not-the most prolific writer in English over the past two decades or more on the topic of so-called Japanese Zen (Chinese Chan and Korean Sŏn) and especially literature, which makes this a welcome addition to his oeuvre. Here, by translating Xuedou's 100 Odes, readers gain access to-as Heine points out-one of the most important collections of Chinese Chan texts, which fills a considerable gap in scholarship on the topic of Chan/Sŏn/Zen literature in translation." -- George A. Keyworth, Associate Professor of History, University of Saskatchewan