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The spread of Chan (Zen) buddhism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the development and spread of the so-called Chan School of Buddhism in China, Japan, and the West. The author begin this chapter by reflecting on what we (modern scholars) mean when we speak of the spread of Buddhism, contrasting that with a few of the traditional ways in which Asian Buddhists themselves, from an insider's or normative point of view, have conceived the transmission of the Buddha's teachings. The bulk of this chapter is devoted to explaining how medieval Chinese Buddhists themselves conceived of the transmission of dharma (chuanfa ) within the Chan lineage chanzong and the tropes they used to talk about that process.

Keywords: Asian Buddhists; Chan (Zen) Buddhism; Chan lineage; Chan School; true dharma



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