15. Contemporary Scholarship
While Zoketsu does not lecture on scholarly matters, his teaching and thinking about Zen are much informed by contemporary scholarship, and he has been in dialog over the years with a number of America’s most important Buddhist scholars. Contemporary scholarship tends to focus on historical or social issues, that is, what actually has happened and does happen in religious life, rather than what scriptures or sermons say ought to happen. Such an attitude is often a challenge to religious groups, who tend to see it as debunking or disrespectful. But for Everyday Zen, dedicated to the Zen practice we can do, rather than the Zen practice we should or could do, this contemporary approach is refreshing and empowering. The books below are distinctly academic, and may not be to the taste of everyone. Many more could have been included, but these are books that have been important for us so far. Note that there are no audio files for this topic.
The first and most important among Faure’s many works that completely re-conceive Zen history. Brilliant, erudite,...
Rita Gross’s reflections on the importance of a feminist approach to religious study and practice.
Another collection of scholarly essays about the origins and uses of the koan literature in Zen history.
A wonderful though dense book contextualizing Zen thought in contemporary terms.
A sophisticated and essential discussion of Buddhism from a feminist perspective.
An exhaustive and eye-opening history.
Bernard’s brilliant discussion of comparative philosophy East and West.
The pun of the title is a clue to the spirit of this informed and informative book.
This collection of scholarly essays discusses Zen ritual throughout history from a variety of standpoints. Not neces...
More detail than you ever wanted to know about Dogens career.