The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature

ISBN : 9780190225759

Mario Poceski
384 Pages
165 x 235 mm
Pub date
Sep 2015
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The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature explores the growth, makeup, and transformation of Chan (Zen) Buddhist literature in late medieval China. The volume analyzes the earliest extant records about the life, teachings, and legacy of Mazu Daoyi (709-788), the famous leader of the Hongzhou School and one of the principal figures in Chan history. While some of the texts covered are well-known and form a central part of classical Chan (or more broadly Buddhist) literature in China, others have been largely ignored, forgotten, or glossed over until recently. Poceski presents a range of primary materials important for the historical study of Chan Buddhism, some translated for the first time into English or other Western language. He surveys the distinctive features and contents of particular types of texts, and analyzes the forces, milieus, and concerns that shaped key processes of textual production during this period. Although his main focus is on written sources associated with a celebrated Chan tradition that developed and rose to prominence during the Tang era (618-907), Poceski also explores the Five Dynasties (907-960) and Song (960-1279) periods, when many of the best-known Chan collections were compiled. Exploring the Chan School's creative adaptation of classical literary forms and experimentation with novel narrative styles, The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature traces the creation of several distinctive Chan genres that exerted notable influence on the subsequent development of Buddhism in China and the rest of East Asia.


Preface and Acknowledgements
Part I: Study of Chan Literature
Chapter 1: Mazu's Records and the Study of Chan Literature
Chapter 2: Hagiographic Representations of Patriarch Ma
Chapter 3: Further Communal Remembrances
Chapter 4: Formation of Chan Genres
Chapter 5: Four Main Genres
Chapter 6: Protracted Makings of Texts and Patriarchs
Part II: Translation and Commentary of Mazu's Records
Text 1: Mazu's Stele Inscription
Text 2: Stone Case Inscription
Text 3: Biographical Entry in Zu tang ji
Text 4: Excerpts from Zong jing lu
Text 5: Biographical Entry in Song gao seng zhuan
Text 6: Biographical Entry in Jingde chuan deng lu
Text 7: Sermon in Jingde chuan deng lu
Appendix: Additional Sources about Mazu

About the author: 

Mario Poceski is Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies and Chinese Religions in the Religion Department of the University of Florida.

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