Abstract

A hallmark of Dogen's legacy is his introduction of Chinese Ch'an koan literature to Japan in the first half of the thirteenth century and his unique and innovative style of interpreting dozens of koan cases, many of which are relatively obscure or otherwise untreated in the annals. What constitutes the distinctiveness of Dogen's approach? According to Hee-Jin Kim's seminal study, Dogen shifts from an instrumental to a realizational model of koan interpretation. While this essay agrees with some features of Kim's approach, especially his emphasis on the importance of language, it is argued that Kim overlooks the diversity of aims and intentions in Dogen's use of rhetorical and narrative strategies to highlight diverse doctrinal and ritual themes. There is no single underlying view of koans for Dogen, who continually modifies his interpretive approach to particular cases in order to articulate specific themes.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 1-19
Launched on MUSE
2003-12-21
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.