4 Dec, 2014 290 Other religions

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Zen. It’s often thought of as a form of Buddhism that emphasises the practice of meditation over any particular set of beliefs. In fact Zen belongs to a particular intellectual tradition within Buddhism that took root in China in the 6th century AD. It spread to Japan in the early Middle Ages, where Zen practitioners set up religious institutions like temples, monasteries and universities that remain important today.

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  • Tim Barrett 8 episodes
    Emeritus Professor in the Department of the Study of Religions at SOAS, University of London
  • Lucia Dolce 2 episodes
    Numata Reader in Japanese Buddhism at SOAS, University of London
  • Eric Greene No other episodes
    Lecturer in East Asian Religions at the University of Bristol

Reading list

  • Soto Zen in Medieval Japan
    William Bodiford (University of Hawaii Press, 1993) Google Books →
  • The Zen Monastic Experience: Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea
    Robert E. Buswell (Princeton University Press, 1992)
  • Visions of Power: Imagining Medieval Japanese Buddhism
    Bernard Faure (Princeton University Press, 1993) Google Books →
  • The Rhetoric of Immediacy: A Cultural Critique of Chan/Zen Buddhism
    Bernard Faure (Princeton University Press, 1991) Google Books →
  • Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters
    Steven Heine (Oxford University Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • Zen Ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist Theory in Practice
    Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Seeing Through Zen: Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism
    John McRae (University of California Press, 2004) Google Books →
  • How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China
    Morten Schlutter (University of Hawaii Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Zen at War
    Brian Victoria (Weatherhill, 1997) Google Books →
  • The Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature
    Albert Welter (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: b04sxv29

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04sxv29

Auto-category: 294.392 (Zen Buddhism)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. Quote, if you meet the Buddha on the road to enlightenment, kill him.